Trump Administration Threatens Sanctions For ICC Investigation Into Afghanistan War Crimes

Posted In: News Date:Mar 15th, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would impose visa restrictions on people responsible for an International Criminal Court probe of war crimes in Afghanistan on Friday, according to CBS News.

Pompeo's statement is aimed to deter any action against the United States and its allies in Afghanistan after the Trump administration previously warned the international court if it launched a probe it would consider banning ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the U.S.

Washington could also sanction any funds inside the U.S. financial system and prosecute them in U.S. courts.

"I'm announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel," Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.

Pompeo said the U.S. has already refused to cooperate with international investigators since they violate U.S. sovereignty.

It's unclear just how many people could be affected by the decision.

One of President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton's first speeches last year condemned the ICC's investigation into U.S. personnel.

Bolton said the U.S. would refuse to cooperate "in any way" with the ICC in The Hague if it carried out an investigation into alleged war crimes by U.S. military and intelligence personnel in Afghanistan.
Bolton called the ICC "fundamentally illegitimate" and an "assault on the constitutional rights of the United States."

He said it was not the fact that the U.S. opposes holding war criminals accountable, but said those people should "face charges by sovereign national governments."

The ICC's chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of Gambia announced in November 2017 the investigation would focus on "war crimes by members of the United States armed forces" and "secret detention facilities in Afghanistan" used by the CIA.