ICC plays down US threats

International Criminal Court says it will "continue to do its work undeterred", after US threatens it with sanctions.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

International Criminal Court at The Hague
International Criminal Court at The Hague

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Tuesday it would "continue to do its work undeterred", after US National Security Adviser John Bolton threatened sanctions if the tribunal investigated US activities in Afghanistan.

The Hague-based court said it was an independent and impartial institution with the backing of 123 countries, according to Reuters.

"The ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law," said the court in a statement.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said last year there was a “reasonable basis to believe” war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed in Afghanistan and that all sides in the conflict would be examined, including members of the US armed forces and Central Intelligence Agency.

"For all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us," Bolton said at a meeting of the Federalist Society in Washington, D.C.

He called the organization "illegitimate," as well as “ineffective, unaccountable, and indeed outright dangerous."

Bolton stressed that the US would "fight back" if the ICC launched investigations into alleged war crimes committed by US forces in Afghanistan, and added that "the central aim of [the ICC’s] most vigorous supporters was to constrain the US."

Bolton in his remarks also slammed the Palestinian Authority (PA) for filing a war crimes complaint against Israel with the ICC after the Israeli Supreme Court allowed the evacuation of an illegal Bedouin village.

“We will not allow the ICC or any other organization to constrain Israel’s right to self-defense,” he said.