Many nations entitled to investigate Baltic Sea explosions

Professor says five countries should negotiate investigation proceedings on Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipeline leaks.

Politiet i København efterforsker lækkene på Nord Streamsom en almindelig straffesag. | Photo: Philip Davali

Danish and Swedish investigators have officially started to investigate explosions at natural gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Baltic Sea, but Russia is also in its right to explore the matter – as are German and Polish authorities, says Professor Emeritus Frederik Harhoff, also former judge at the the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, to Danish daily Politiken.

Explosions occurred in international waters, but also within the Exclusive Economic Zone of both Denmark and Sweden, thereby giving jurisdiction to the two nations’ authorities.

The pipelines are Russian owned, thus also giving the warring nation cause to involve itself in investigations.

Harhoff hopes investigation efforts can proceed in agreement.

”If it’s uncoordinated, all parties will ruin it for each other,” he tells the newspaper.

”The worst-case scenario is that each investigation starts without being coordinated with other nations, triggering chaos.”

He explains that no regulation exists on how and by whom such investigations are conducted – it’s an open negotiation.

”That means that these five countries must now figure out how investigative efforts will be managed and distributed,” Harhoff says.

The Swedish government recently announced that national police have started their investigation, informing on Wednesday of handing the task to the Swedish Security Service (Säpo).

Danish Police Chief Anne Tønnes said in briefing the same day that her district is responsible for the investigation.

This matter is under investigation as a normal criminal case, Tønnes said, also urging persons or organizations with relevant information on the matter to step forward.

At the briefing, the police chief referenced the international angle:

”As a part of investigations, we are cooperating with relevant authorities, Danish and foreign, concerning designation of investigation procedure requiring implementation,” she relayed.

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