GERMANY: US SANCTIONS ON ICC OFFICIALS ‘GRAVE MISTAKE’


05/09/2020




Selin ATAY-TDO- Germany's top diplomat Heiko Maas on Friday condemned the United States decision to impose sanctions on two officials of The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), saying it was not acceptable.

"The United States' imposition of sanctions on two senior ICC officials, including Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, calls into question the independence of the International Criminal Court and threatens to seriously affect its work. We cannot accept that," Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement.

"We have full confidence in the work of the International Criminal Court and consider it a grave mistake that the US has chosen to take this additional step," Foreign minister added.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the US sanctions on two ICC members, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and her aide Phakiso Mochochoko, for efforts to prosecute American nationals for war crimes in Afghanistan.

US Secretary of State considered the court as a "a thoroughly corrupted and broken institution”. Also he said that his country "will not tolerate its illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction."

Germany’s top diplomat urged the US to reconsider its controversial decision to impose sanctions on the ICC officials.

"We continue to work to ensure that the International Criminal Court can play its indispensable role in the international fight against impunity and we call on the United States to withdraw its measures," the Heiko Mass said.

Earlier this week, the war crimes court said that it "continues to stand firmly by its personnel and its mission of fighting impunity for the world's most serious crimes".

The ICC vowed to maintain its investigation into possible war crimes by the US and its allies in Afghanistan.


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