France opens war crime investigation into death of Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski

Franco-Irish citizen Zakrzewski was killed while on assignment in Ukraine

Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, who was killed in Ukraine after the vehicle in which he was travelling was struck by incoming fire, poses for a selfie with colleagues in Kyiv. Fox News Sunday Handout via Reuters
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French prosecutors have opened a war crime investigation into the death of Franco-Irish Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski who was shot near Kyiv while covering the war in Ukraine, an official statement said on Wednesday.

The investigation by France's specialised antiterror prosecutors will investigate possible charges of causing “deliberate harm to a person protected by international law” and a “deliberate attack against a civilian who was not taking part in hostilities".

French prosecutors routinely open cases into the violent deaths of citizens overseas.

Zakrzewski and Ukrainian producer Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed and Fox correspondent Benjamin Hall was wounded when their vehicle was struck on Monday by incoming fire outside the capital.

He was an experienced war zone cameraman who had previously covered conflicts for the US network in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian sent his condolences to Zakrzewski's family on Wednesday, saying that “armed forces have an obligation to protect journalists in accordance with international humanitarian law".

US journalist says Russian forces shot him after crossing checkpoint

US journalist says Russian forces shot him after crossing checkpoint

Other media workers have been killed in the three weeks of conflict so far, including US documentary maker Brent Renaud and Ukrainian reporter Evgeny Sakun.

The Ukrainian Parliament's human rights chief Lyudmyla Denisova said on Tuesday that another Ukrainian journalist, Viktor Dudar, was killed in fighting around the southern port city of Mykolaiv.

Updated: March 17, 2022, 6:52 AM