Trump calls ICC 'illegitimate' after it drops war crimes investigation

Nellie Chapman
April 14, 2019

The International Criminal Court rejected a request to investigate alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Afghanistan.

"The chamber hereby decides that an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice and accordingly rejects the request", the judges said in their decision.

In November 2017 the prosecutor had requested for an investigation into the alleged crimes committed during the long-lasting armed conflict in Afghanistan.

In a statement released by the White House, the Trump administration hailed the decision not to investigate USA personnel as "a major global victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law".

Bensouda's request said there was reason to believe that members of the US military and intelligence agencies had "committed acts of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, rape and sexual violence against conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan and other locations, principally in the 2003-2004 period". The move was believed to be in response to the investigation which would involve actions of American soldiers. They dont. It is to suggest that a pro-American decision from the ICC is like. how to put it?. the 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the Trump administration on anything.

"This decision will likely come to be seen as the beginning of a broader effort by the judges and the Prosecutor to orient the Court's very limited resources toward those investigations where there exists some meaningful prospect of success", Whiting wrote.

Bolton made clear that the administration's opposition to the court is unequivocal and based on a belief that it inherently conflicts with the U.S. Constitution.

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Such a hard line was met with what we called, in an editorial last month, “howls of outrage by the hard left.” Human Rights Watch called Mr. Pompeos position “thuggish.” The ICC itself insisted that the court was “independent” and that it would carry on with its work “undeterred.” Yet just last week, the Trump administration went ahead and revoked the visa for the ICCs chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.

The US has never joined the ICC and does not recognise its authority over American citizens, saying it poses a threat to national sovereignty.

Some human rights advocates are slamming the decision as a risky precedent.

"Why it happened today as opposed to some other day I think it's just the final l crash of an inadequate process", Bolton continued, suggesting the decision had more to do with the weaknesses in the case to investigate than the USA actions.

"Any attempt to target American, Israeli, or allied personnel for prosecution will be met with a swift and vigorous response", the USA president said.

The decision "is insane and politically charged", Karine Bonneau, director of worldwide justice at the global Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), said in a tweet. "This sends a risky message to perpetrators that they can put themselves beyond the reach of the law just by being uncooperative". "Getting countries to cooperate with the court is a real challenge, but this decision is an invitation to governments to create hurdles to stop the ICC from acting".

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