Mike Pompeo says Trump administration preparing measures to block ICC probe of Israel

'We will never let this happen,' says US Secretary of State, alluding to plans targeting International Criminal Court's probe of Israel.

David Rosenberg ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo
REUTERS

The Trump administration will take active steps to prevent the International Criminal Court for targeting American soldiers, Israel, and other US allies, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Speaking on a podcast hosted by the American Enterprise Institute last Friday and released by the State Department Monday night, Pompeo hinted the Trump administration is likely to unveil measures in the coming days targeting the ICC, and intended to foil plans by the ICC to try American service members and US allies including Israel.

“I’m very concerned about it,” Pompeo said in regard to plans by the ICC to probe the US military for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

Pompeo alluded to coming moves by the Trump to “push back” against the International Criminal Court.

“We’ve done a lot of work in my three and a half years, first as director of CIA and now in my current role. You’ll see in the coming days a series of announcements not just from the State Department, from all across the United States government, that attempt to push back against what the ICC is up to.”

The US, like Israel, is not a party to the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court, Pompeo noted, slamming the ICC’s attempt to probe countries over which it has no jurisdiction.

“It’s difficult for me to conceptualize what goes on there as a court. This is not a court in the sense of what we would understand here in the United States as an Article III court: independent, with all the rights and due processes there. We also never gave consent, and understand international law, one of the key features of exercise of power by bodies such as the ICC is that you say if I want to be part of that. We never signed up for it.”

Yet, Pompeo continued “they think that the ICC ought to be able to haul these young men and women in.”

The Secretary of State also slammed the ICC’s decision to investigate alleged war crimes by Israel in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

“We will never let that happen. We’re working along many fronts to prevent it from happening. They’re doing this not just to us, but to Israel, where they’re beginning to look into what took place in the West Bank. Again, it’s completely inappropriate, it’s completely inconsistent with international law, and it puts our young men and women at risk and it’s something President Trump and our team aren’t going to permit to happen.”

Pompeo hinted that the Trump administration would be making a formal announcement soon regarding steps targeting the ICC.

“I don’t want to get ahead of the announcements we’re going to make in the coming days, but I think you’ll see, and I think that the ICC and the world will see, that we are determined to prevent having Americans and our friends and allies in Israel and elsewhere hauled in by this corrupt ICC.”



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