US announces sanctions against a number of staff members of the International Criminal Court

US pressures International Criminal Court with new sanctions | DW News

Mike Pompeo, Mark Esper, William Barr and O’Brien hold joint press conference at the Department of State

On Thursday, June 11, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is holding a press conference at the State Department, which also features Pentagon Chief Mark Esper, Attorney General William Barr and National Security Assistant Robert O’Brien..

The topic of the press conference is the US-imposed sanctions against a number of employees of the International Criminal Court.

Opening the press conference, Mike Pompeo spoke about the ICC’s investigations against both the US military and its allies, in particular Israel.

At the same time, Pompeo noted the extremely politicized nature of the activities of the International Criminal Court..

Mike Pompeo and William Barr (left), Department of State June 11, 2020.

Justice Minister William Barr pointed out that the integrity of the work carried out by the International Criminal Court has long been questioned by the United States. He also noted the role of Russia in the activities of the court..

Earlier, US President Donald Trump signed a decree imposing sanctions on a number of individuals involved in an ICC investigation into whether there were war crimes committed by the US military in Afghanistan..

As explained in the White House, Trump’s decree provides for economic sanctions against ICC employees “directly involved in any efforts to conduct investigations and trials against American military personnel without the consent of the United States.” It also provides for the expansion of visa restrictions for court employees and their relatives..

“The United States is not a state party to the Rome Statute and has repeatedly rejected claims by the International Criminal Court to extend its jurisdiction to US military personnel,” the White House said in a statement. “The actions of the International Criminal Court violate the rights of the American people and threaten to violate our national sovereignty. The International Criminal Court was created to ensure accountability for war crimes, but in practice it represents an unaccountable and ineffective international bureaucracy that threatens our military as well as the forces of our allies and partners. “.

“Despite repeated calls by the United States and our allies for reform, the International Criminal Court has taken no reform action and continues to conduct politically motivated investigations against us and our allies, including Israel,” the statement said. “We are concerned that adversary states are manipulating the International Criminal Court by encouraging these accusations against US military personnel. In addition, we have good reason to believe that there is corruption and misconduct at the highest levels of the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor, which casts doubt on the integrity of his investigation of US military personnel. “.

US announces sanctions against a number of staff members of the International Criminal Court

“As the presidential decree makes clear, the United States will continue to use whatever means is necessary to protect our citizens and our allies from unfair prosecution by the International Criminal Court,” the White House said..

A senior administration official, without going into details, said the investigation was being pushed by one organization of dubious integrity and pointed to the role Russia played in the process..

A presidential decree empowers Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to block (in consultation with Treasury Chief Steven Mnuchin) the U.S. property of ICC staff involved in the investigation..

The decree also reportedly authorizes Secretary of State Pompeo to block the entry of these individuals into the United States..

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