Trump administration vows to protect its citizens and allies from unjust prosecution of International Criminal Court citing sanctions could be imposed if investigation is pursued on American troops in Afghanistan.
The president’s national security adviser John R. Bolton said Monday United States would ban the judges and prosecutors of I.C.C. from entering U.S. if the investigation is implemented.
Bolton added, “We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and, we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system.”
Delivering his first major address as national security adviser at the White House he threatened to shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington if it was prodded by the Palestinians to investigate Israel.
I.C.C. was founded by the Rome Statute in 2002 and brings to justice people responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The court is ratified by United Kingdom and 122 more countries. US is not a member of it.
In 2017 prosecutor Fatou Bensouda requested for full investigation into the Afghanistan war and to include crimes committed by American army and intelligence officials.
Bolton dismissed any government signatory to the court had made such request and reconfirmed U.S. will not be joining the court.
In his speech the outspoken Bolton added U.S. will not be providing assistance to I.C.C., will not be cooperating with it, and let the court die on its own.
His statements were backed by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She said U.S. would use any necessary means to protect Americans and the allies.
Associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch, Liz Evenson, said Trump’s national security adviser has shown disregard to victims of atrocity crimes.
Meanwhile, defining what steps could be taken by U.S. to the court Bolton said judges and prosecutors will be prosecuted in the U.S. criminal system and same will be done to any state or company for assisting an ICC investigation of Americans.
He added countries would be signed to stop submitting Americans to the jurisdiction of court.
In his Monday’s speech, a major address as national security adviser, Bolton re-mentioned Donald Trump’s policy of “America First.”