If the authorities of the suspects's home country are prepared to give sufficient guarantees of due process of law, and they are able to fulfil those guarantees, NCIS will seek to extradite the suspect.
Given the current situation, where Norwegian nationals or other residents travel abroad to actively participate in armed conflicts, war crimes may be committed by Norwegians, too. International partners may also request that we investigate cases that have no links to Norway, or request the extradition of suspected war criminals for prosecution in that country.
War crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, terrorist acts and certain other offences, e.g. torture, constitute 'international crimes'. That means that they concern the international community in such a way that their prosecution is not considered a violation of the sovereignty of other states under international law, despite being committed by a foreign national in a foreign country.
Comprised of police officers, lawyers, political scientists and administrative staff, the International Crimes Section gathers, processes and applies relevant information on international crimes that may lead to prosecution in Norway or extradition to other countries or international courts. It is the only unit in Norway competent to investigate war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed abroad by suspects staying in Norway. The unit may also be directed to investigate other serious crimes committed by foreign nationals abroad if the suspect is staying in Norway.
Investigating such cases is complex and time-consuming. In most cases, the alleged crime occurred several years ago, or it took place in countries that remain inaccessible due to ongoing armed conflict. The crime scene tends to be old or destroyed, and witnesses can be hard to locate. NCIS furthermore relies on effective cooperation with the authorities of countries that differ from Norway culturally and legally.
International cooperation and commitments
Recognising its importance in the effective prosecution of international crimes, the unit maintains a strong focus on active participation in international cooperation. International partners may request that we investigate cases that have no links to Norway. Foreign authorities may also request the extradition of nationals staying in Norway that are suspected of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Norway is obligated to prosecute certain offences under a number of different agreements and treaties.
- Conventions have been adopted to combat genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and other cruel and abusive treatment.
- The Geneva Convention contains provisions on serious or grave violations which trigger an obligation to prosecute the offender, or extradite him to a country where grounds for prosecution exist.
- In connection with the establishment of the International Criminal Court, Norway committed, on certain terms, to prosecute suspects or surrender them to the Court, and to carry out tasks such as tracing fugitives, taking depositions, conducting police interviews, handing over records, examining crime scenes, searching premises and making seizures.