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Martin spoke in the Westminster Hall debate examining the merits of a Special Tribunal on Ukraine. Here is an extract of his speech transcribed via Hansard:

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP (SNP, West Dunbartonshire): It is good to see you in the Chair, Mr Davies. I thank the hon. Member for Tiverton and Honiton (Richard Foord) for securing this debate on an issue of vital importance, not only to achieving natural justice for the people of Ukraine, but to ensuring that crimes of aggression, such as those committed by Vladimir Putin and his regime, are not without consequences.

Regardless of what we think of any sort of international order or universal values, that sort of barbarism is not to be tolerated. I am glad to say that I think that feeling is shared by Members from across the House, by people across the islands of the north Atlantic, and certainly by my colleagues in the Scottish National party. Our members unanimously passed a resolution at our conference last year calling for exactly that sort of action to be taken against this aggressor, who has caused so much pain and suffering to people with whom he has claimed fraternity.

We have heard all too often, including this morning, that there is one obvious stumbling block to establishing a tribunal: the lack of a suitable venue. To be blunt, with the United Nations and even the International Criminal Court unlikely to accept the case for what some would call crushingly cynical political reasons, it would be a test of judicial dexterity to ensure accountability.

I was glad to hear the hon. Members for Strangford (Jim Shannon), and for Henley (John Howell), mention the Council of Europe as a venue. The hon. Member for Tiverton and Honiton mentioned the requirement for more dexterity in the legal process. I am mindful of the agreement between the UK and the former Libyan regime, which allowed a sitting of the High Court of Justiciary in the Netherlands. It had special jurisdiction over other territories; that was based on Security Council resolution 1192. That agreement allowed what was then the highest court of Scotland to sit in another country to bring about the conviction of the Libyan bomber. The difficulty of going through the UN in this case is that the Russian Federation would veto that.

It is important and appropriate to acknowledge the work of the investigators on the ground in recording the crimes perpetrated by the Russian Federation, whether they are domestic or international law-and-order units or ordinary Ukrainian people. Their ability to carry out such an exacting job in the face of demonstrable and abject horror needs to be commended. Any international tribunal will rely on their work, and they know that. I imagine that, in any circumstances, that is what keeps them going.

Those of us who grew up with those who remembered the horrors of the second world war did not think we would ever be in such a position again. I grew up with a father who was a first-hand witness to one of the largest Nazi atrocities imposed on a civilian population during the second world war, namely the Clydebank blitz.

The idea that, in an age of smart munitions, civilians would continue to be targeted so indiscriminately is unfathomable, yet there is a litany of reports, often accompanied by heartbreaking images, of targeting of residential areas of no military value. It could be no clearer that these atrocities are happening nearly daily. There can be no question but that my party and I welcome the Foreign Secretary’s commitment to joining the core group set up to further investigate avenues. I look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say on that point, and any other commitments that the Government can give. It is important that we challenge ourselves.

I appreciate the possibility of creating a precedent for the further investigation of possible war crimes committed by other countries, even the UK. Many would note that that would probably include places such as Iraq. I marched against that conflict for many reasons, and the precedent it set was clear to me at the time. No one in this place should shy away from ensuring that justice is done, whenever and wherever. I hope that when colleagues sum up, they will echo my sentiments.

There are those who say that in laying the foundations for such a tribunal, we close off the potential for a negotiated settlement in Ukraine, because Putin will not agree to terms that see him come before this tribunal. I understand that rationale, but I simply cannot see any alternative in the face of such evildoing. The idea has not stopped him planning to travel abroad, whether to occupied Mariupol or even South Africa. After the failure to take Kyiv within 72 hours, I do not think he was in any doubt that there would be no return to the status quo ante. Either Putin will be removed by an internal opponent, of which there are increasing numbers, or he will face justice for his crimes in Ukraine. I hope he faces justice.

I finish by reiterating my party’s unwavering support for the establishment of an international tribunal that will ensure accountability for the litany of crimes committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. I hope to see not only the liberation of all regions of Ukraine under occupation, but justice for those who have suffered.

Watch the debate in full here.

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