The Trump administration imposes sanctions on the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), an intergovernmental organization that prosecutes criminals for international crimes that their own government won’t prosecute.
The ICC is currently investigating U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan.
The only reason Secretary of State Mike Pomeo gives for the new sanctions is that the ICC is targeting Americans for war crimes… which is its job. Pompeo issued lighter sanctions as a threat in June.
No other Western democracy or U.S. ally supports the Trump administration’s anti-ICC campaign except for Israel.
Under these new sanctions on Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and her aide Phakiso Mochochoko, any assets they possess in the United States are frozen, they are not allowed to do business in the United States, and anyone aiding them in an investigation of the United States will face similar sanctions.
The ICC is the first and only permanent international court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. It is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore exercise its jurisdiction only when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals. The ICC lacks universal territorial jurisdiction, and may only investigate and prosecute crimes committed within member states, crimes committed by nationals of member states, or crimes in situations referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council.
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