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US Threatens ICC With Sanctions, Prosecution


The United States has threatened to arrest the International Criminal Court officials and impose sanctions against them in the wake of a move by the Court in The Hague to prosecute US servicemen over alleged detainee abuse in Afghanistan.

But the ICC made it clear that as a court of law, it will "continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law."

In his speech on Monday in Washington, US National Security Adviser John Bolton criticized ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's request for an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, including those committed by US military and intelligence officials during the war in that country since May 1, 2003.

The White House said if the ICC proceeds with opening an investigation, the Trump Administration will consider several steps, including banning ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, sanction their funds in the US financial system, and prosecute them.

The US government is planning to take steps in the UN Security Council to constrain the Court's sweeping powers, including to ensure that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and its allies that have not ratified the Rome Statute.

"Even more binding, bilateral agreements" will be negotiated to prohibit nations from surrendering American citizens to the ICC, Washington warned.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an international court established in 2002, upon the entry into force of a multilateral treaty known as the Rome Statute.

The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute and has consistently voiced its strong objections to any assertion of ICC jurisdiction over American personnel.

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