September 12, 2018

ICC Judges Who Charge Americans With War Crimes Will Be Arrested: USA


Judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court will be arrested if they charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes, the US has warned.

Terming the Hague-based court “unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the US, Israel, and other allies, US’s National Security Advisor John Bolton said that investigating US service members would be “utterly unfounded and unjustifiable.” Without mincing words, he said, “If the court comes after us, Israel, or other US allies, we will not sit quietly.”

Bolton said that financial sanctions and criminal charges would be slapped on court officials if they proceeded against any American. “We will ban the court’s judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system,” Bolton said.

“We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans,” he added.

Bolton was addressing a powerful association of legal conservatives named the Federalist Society in Washington. He referred to an ICC prosecutor’s November 2017 request to open a probe into alleged war crimes committed by the US military and intelligence in Afghanistan, particularly over detainee abuse. He also pointed towards a recent attempt by Palestinian leaders to get Israeli officials prosecuted by the ICC for human rights’ violations.

“The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court. We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We certainly will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own,” he stressed.

In its defense, the ICC issued a statement reading, “The ICC, as a judicial institution, acts strictly within the legal framework of the Rome Statute and is committed to the independent and impartial exercise of its mandate.”

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