Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

ICC Will Not Investigate US Troops in Afghanistan

ICC Will Not Investigate US Troops in Afghanistan

Judges at the International Criminal Court on Friday turned down a request to open a war crimes probe in Afghanistan, a week after Washington revoked the court's chief prosecutor's visa over the case. The chamber also notes the limited cooperation of Afghanistan throughout the prosecutor's 11-year preliminary examination and the court's overstretched resources and concludes that an investigation "would not serve the interests of justice".

A significant amount of time has passed since numerous crimes were allegedly committed, the judges said, and there's a need for the ICC "to use its resources prioritizing activities that would have a better changes to succeed".

The judges said that the current circumstances of the situation in Afghanistan would make the prospects for a successful investigation and prosecution extremely limited.

"It shows how the Trump administration has been hugely successful in opposing the investigations of worldwide courts we are not beholden to", Kontorovich said.

The ICC has been investigating abuses and war crimes committed in conflicted Middle Eastern regions for more than a decade.

The court's decision acknowledges that 680 of the almost 700 applications from victims "welcomed the prospect of an investigation aimed at bringing culprits to justice, preventing crime and establishing the truth".

"It is outrageous that victims of war crimes are far less likely to get justice for well-documented atrocities because of the Trump administration's authoritarian efforts to sabotage an investigation before it even started", said Jamil Dakwar, director of the group's human rights program.

The ICC backed down after the Trump administration took a heretofore un-tried hard line in respect of the courts gumshoes.

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The announcement by the court's Pre-Trial Chamber came a week after the U.S. revoked the entry visa of the senior ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.

Congratulations are in order for President Trump — and Secretary of State Pompeo — in the wake of the latest news from the International Criminal Court. For example, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said last September that "the United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by the illegitimate court".

This is a major global victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law. “Any attempt to target American, Israeli, or allied personnel for prosecution, ” it said, “will be met with a swift and vigorous response.” The doctrine reflects the fact that our GIs are under the jurisdiction of our own juridical authorities.

The US had revoked the entry visa for Fatou Bensouda in April.

Washington signed, but never ratified, the Rome Statute that founded the tribunal in 2002.

Many African Union countries have expressed support for ousted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who continued to travel widely in Africa and the Middle East despite being the subject of an ICC arrest warrant issued in 2009.

"With this decision, people will lose hope of getting justice, and they might take revenge, fuelling conflict in the country", she said.

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