"If the Court attacks us, Israel or other US allies, we will not be silent," said John Bolton
The United States on Monday led an unprecedented attack on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and threatened its judges and prosecutors with sanctions if they attack Americans, Israel or other allies in Washington.
The White House National Security Advisor, John Bolton, accused the international tribunal charged with judging war crimes and crimes against humanity, of which Washington is not a member, of being "ineffective, irresponsible and downright dangerous ".
The International Criminal Court (ICC) said Tuesday not to be "deterred" by Washington's threats, which threatened sanctions against its judges and prosecutors if they attacked Americans or Isräel.
"The ICC, as a Court of Justice, will continue to do its work without being deterred, in accordance with the principles and general idea of the rule of law," said the court based in The Hague.
Before the Federalist Society, a conservative organization in Washington, he denounced the possibility of an investigation against US servicemen who served in Afghanistan, but also possible investigations against Israel at the instigation of the Palestinian Authority.
"If the Court attacks us, Israel or other US allies, we will not be silent," warned John Bolton, announcing a series of possible retaliatory measures, including sanctions against ICC staff.
"We will ban these judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will take sanctions against their holdings in the US financial system, and we will take legal action against them in our justice system, "warned President Donald Trump's advisor.
The jurisdiction based in The Hague, the Netherlands, responded "to act strictly within the legal framework defined by the Rome Statute", and to be "committed to the independent and impartial exercise of its mandate".
In early November 2017, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that she would ask the judges for permission to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the context of the Afghan conflict, including by the US military. In Afghanistan, the United States is still at the head of a military coalition that toppled the Taliban regime in late 2001.
"The ICC is already dead"
"At any time, the ICC could announce the opening of a formal investigation against these American patriots," said John Bolton.
"Today, on the eve of 9/11" and the anniversary of the 2001 bombings that triggered the operation in Afghanistan, "I want to send a clear and unambiguous message from the President of the United States: the United States will use every means necessary to protect our fellow citizens and those of our allies from unfair prosecution by this illegitimate court, "he said.
"We will not cooperate with the ICC, we will not provide assistance, we will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die of its death "because" for us, the ICC is already dead, "he insisted.
The International Criminal Court is governed by the Rome Statute, a treaty that entered into force on 1 July 2002 and has since been ratified by 123 countries. His attorney can initiate his own investigations without permission from the judges provided that they involve at least one member country - this is the case of Afghanistan.
Relations between Washington and the jurisdiction in The Hague, the Netherlands, have always been tumultuous. The United States has consistently refused to join and has done everything, including bilateral agreements with many countries, to prevent Americans from being targeted by its investigations.
But John Bolton lamented that some countries, including members of the European Union, have so far refused such agreements.
According to him, "the tacit but always central goal" of the ICC's "most ardent supporters" was to limit US action, targeting "political leaders" above all else. He described the court as a partisan court, leading an "attack on the constitutional rights of the American people and the sovereignty of the United States."
The attack is in line with Donald Trump's "America first" program, "America First", which has already led to the withdrawal of the United States from several international organizations or agreements.
Source: ©Washington threatens sanctions ICC says it does not "deter"
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