United States threatens to arrest judges of the International Criminal Court investigating war crimes

<pre><pre>United States threatens to arrest judges of the International Criminal Court investigating war crimes

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton called the rights body based in The Hague "inexplicable" and "directly dangerous" to the United States, Israel and other allies, and said any investigation by members of the US service would be " a completely unfounded and unjustifiable investigation ". "

"If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly," Bolton said.

He said the United States was prepared to impose financial sanctions and criminal charges on court officials if they proceed against any American.

"We will prohibit the entrance of judges and prosecutors to the United States, we will sanction their funds in the financial system of the United States and we will prosecute them in the criminal system of the United States," said Bolton.

"We will do the same for any company or state that helps an investigation of the ICC of the Americans."

Bolton made the remarks in a speech in Washington to the Federalist Society, a powerful association of legal conservatives.

Investigation into the abuse of detainees

Bolton noted the request of an ICC prosecutor in November 2017 to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the US Army. UU And intelligence officials in Afghanistan, especially for the abuse of detainees.

Neither Afghanistan nor any other government party in the Rome Statute of the ICC has requested an investigation, Bolton said.

He said the ICC could formally open the investigation "at any time."

He also cited a recent action by Palestinian leaders to have Israeli officials prosecuted at the ICC for human rights violations.

"The United States will use all necessary means to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unfair prosecution by this illegitimate court," Bolton said.

"We will not cooperate with the ICC, we will not provide assistance to the ICC, we certainly will not join the ICC, we will let the ICC die on its own."

The ICC defended itself, noting that it has the support of 123 member states and that even the United Nations Security Council considered it valuable and asked it in 2005 to investigate the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

"The ICC, as a judicial institution, acts strictly within the legal framework of the Rome Statute and is committed to the independent and impartial exercise of its mandate," it said in a statement.

US National Security Advisor UU John Bolton (AAP)

& # 39; Threat & # 39; to US sovereignty UU

Bolton said that the main objection of the administration of President Donald Trump is the idea that the ICC could have more authority than the United States Constitution and the sovereignty of the United States.

"In secular terms, we do not recognize any authority superior to the Constitution of the United States," he said.

"This president will not allow US citizens to be prosecuted by foreign bureaucrats, and will not allow other nations to dictate our means of self-defense."

He also condemned the court's record since it formally began in 2002, and argued that most of the major nations had not joined.

He said he had reached only eight convictions despite spending more than $ 1.5 billion, and said that had not caused atrocities worldwide.

"In fact, despite the ongoing investigations of the ICC, atrocities continue to occur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Libya, Syria and many other nations." he added.

Bolton was strongly criticized by rights groups. Liz Evenson, associate director of international justice at Human Rights Watch, said Bolton's threats "show insensitive indifference toward victims of atrocious crimes."

"The killing of civilians in Syria, Myanmar and other places shows that the ICC is more necessary than ever to act where it can," Evenson added.

She said a measure to block complaints against US soldiers in Afghanistan and against Israel would show the US. UU "More concerned with pampering rights abusers … than supporting fair justice."