France on Tuesday said it stands by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its ability to do its work without hindrance.
“France, with its European partners, supports the ICC, both in its budgetary contribution and in its
cooperation with it,” Foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a statement.
“The court must be able to act and exercise its prerogatives without hindrance, independently and
impartially, within the legal framework defined by the Rome Statute,” the ministry said.
White House National Security Advisor John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body “unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the U. S., Israel and other allies, and said any probe of U.S. service members would be “an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation”.
“If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly,” Bolton said.
He said the U.S. was prepared to slap financial sanctions and criminal charges on officials of the court if they proceed against any Americans.
But in response, the ICC declared itself an “independent and impartial judicial institution”.
It also stressed that it would only investigate and prosecute crimes when the states will not or can not do so.
The Hague-based ICC was set up in 2002 with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute the world’s worst crimes including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The court however does not have the capacity to arrest suspects and depends on member states for their cooperation.
The U. S. has not signed up to the court and in 2002 Congress passed a law enabling Washington to invade the Netherlands to liberate any US citizen held by the court. (Reuters/NAN)
– Sept. 11, 2018 @ 16:35 GMT |