by Associated Press –
Excerpt: Mike Pompeo denounced the ICC as a “kangaroo court” that has failed in its mandate to prosecute war crimes, adding that the U.S. would ban entry to ICC employees who try to prosecute Israelis.
In a broadside against the International Criminal Court, President Donald Trump on Thursday authorized economic and travel sanctions against court workers investigating American troops and intelligence officials and those of allied nations, including Israel, for alleged “war crimes” in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Trump’s executive order would block the financial assets of court employees and bar them and their immediate relatives from entering the United States.
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, accused the court of fabricating “outlandish charges” against his country, and praised the U.S. for standing up for what he called truth and justice.
While Israel welcomed the move, there were expressions of condemnation from the United Nations and the European Union.
The Hague-based court was created in 2002 and the U.S. has never been an ICC member.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the tribunal as a “kangaroo court” that has failed its mandate to prosecute war crimes. He said that the U.S. would punish the ICC employees for any investigation or prosecution of Americans in Afghanistan and added that they could also be banned for trying to prosecute Israelis.
“It gives us no joy to punish them,” Pompeo said. “But we cannot allow ICC officials and their families to come to the United States to shop and travel and otherwise enjoy American freedoms as these same officials seek to prosecute the defender of those very freedoms.”
Pompeo’s comments were echoed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Attorney General William Barr and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, who spoke at a State Department announcement of the new measures. Barr announced that the U.S. would investigate possible corruption within the ICC hierarchy that he said raised suspicions that Russia and other adversaries could be interfering in the investigatory process. …
|June 13, 2020