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ICC condemns US sanctions against prosecutor

The International Criminal Court on Wednesday denounced “unprecedented” sanctions imposed on its prosecutor by the United States in retaliation for a probe into alleged war crimes by US troops in Afghanistan.

The Hague-based tribunal said the sanctions announced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and another senior official, Phakiso Mochochoko, were “serious attacks” against the rule of law.

“The International Criminal Court condemns the economic sanctions imposed by the US earlier today on the court’s prosecutor and a member of her office,” an ICC statement said.

“These coercive acts, directed at an international judicial institution and its civil servants, are unprecedented and constitute serious attacks against the court, the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice, and the rule of law more generally.”

The war crimes court said it “continues to stand firmly by its personnel and its mission of fighting impunity for the world’s most serious crimes.”

The ICC was founded by the Rome Statute, which entered into force in 2002, and has since been signed by 123 countries.

The head of the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties, which groups the court’s member countries, said separately that it would meet to discuss how to support the tribunal in the face of the US measures.

“I strongly reject such unprecedented and unacceptable measures against a treaty-based international organisation,” said assembly president O-Gon Kwon.

“They only serve to weaken our common endeavour to fight impunity for mass atrocities.”

The US move came after President Donald Trump authorised sanctions on the ICC on June 11 for probing and prosecuting US troops.

(AFP)

Source: punchng.com