International Criminal Court passes on probing possible war crimes in Afghanistan

International Criminal Court passes on probing possible war crimes in Afghanistan

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Attached infantry soldiers from 4th Infantry Division, on patrol with Afghan Special Security Forces, return fire during a Taliban attack on their position in Logar province, Afghanistan,, on Oct. 12, 2018 (NSOCC-A Photo by SPC Casey Dinnison)

WASHINGTON — The International Criminal Court has decided not to investigate potential war crimes allegations against U.S. forces in Afghanistan, saying Friday that such a probe “would not serve the interests of justice.”

At issue are alleged abuses by U.S. troops that would be given a preliminary examination by the ICC as part of a wider investigation of potentially criminal behavior committed by all parties in Afghanistan’s long conflict.

Fatou Bensouda, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, sought authorization in November 2017 to open a formal investigation into possible crimes in Afghanistan. The ICC statement then said a preliminary probe “determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe” that members of the US armed forces and the CIA committed “war crimes,” particularly in 2003-2004.

Fatou Bensouda is the ICC’s chief prosecutor. (Max Coot Studio/Creative Commons)

In retaliation, the U.S. State Department said in March 2018 that it would deny or revoke visas for ICC staff if the investigation continued. Bensouda’s office told Reuters last week that the U.S. revoked the entry visa for the Gambian native.

The ICC’s three-person pre-trial judge panel at the Hague in the Netherlands unanimously rejected Bensouda’s request to investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan. In a statement the ICC said “that an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice.” The judges also said political and military events in Afghanistan have changed since the preliminary examination was conducted in 2006.

They also noted that “the lack of cooperation that the Prosecutor has received” to date was “likely to go scarcer should an investigation be authorized,” according to the release.

Pentagon officials had no comment on the ICC decision.

The ICC was established by a United Nations treaty in 2002, and has been ratified by 123 countries. Among those not ratifying are the United States, China, India, Russia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, Libya, and Pakistan.

The Trump administration hailed the decision.

“This is a major international victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law,” President Donald Trump said in a statement released by the White House. “Any attempt to target American, Israeli, or allied personnel for prosecution will be met with a swift and vigorous response.”

However, Amnesty International eviscerated the decision. In a statement, the organization called the decision “a shocking abandonment of the victims” that was “a craven capitulation to Washington’s bullying and threats.”

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  • 1 COMMENT

    1. News reports on 9 April 2019 say that WTO has reversed policy amid pressure from President Trump handing USA a trade victory over Canada. This news report in relation to softwood lumber tariff dispute between the U.S. and Canada looks to be corresponding to this Vedic astrology writer’s predictive alerts of 1 October 2018 in article – “ Astrological probable alerts for the US in 2019” – published last year on 1 November , 2018 in monthly Webzine of Wisdom Magazine at wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/4897/. The text related to the matter referred to here reads like this in the article :-
      “ Predictive conclusions.
      2. April- May 2019. ……….Age-old or well known opponents may present worries ………………….calling for more care and appropriate strategy. But the U.S. looks to be smarting over or gaining success in relation to such circumstances which may include commerce and trade. Significant or memorable period when some opponents or competitors of U.S. look to be losing some grip or evince signs of weakness…………………While April-May 2019 may be relevant in relation to these circumstances or probable happenings , 10 April to 25 April can be more closely relevant in that regard”. There is another news of some kind of victory the U.S. has been handed down , suggestive to the accuracy of aforesaid prediction of this writer. The International Criminal Court ( ICC ) at the Hague has on 12 April 2019 rejected its prosecutor’s request to investigate possible war crimes in Afghanistan alleged against the U.S. forces. While the judges said the investigation “ would not serve the interests of justice” , President Trump has hailed the decision of the court as international victory for the US.

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