Bolton: International Criminal Court 'illegitimate,' 'dangerous'


The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday said that its work would continue "undeterred" after Washington threatened to prosecute its officials if Americans are charged with war crimes committed in Afghanistan.

Afghan rights workers are warning that the US national security adviser's blistering attack on the International Criminal Court investigating war crimes allegations will strengthen a climate of impunity in Afghanistan, prolong the war and embolden those carrying out acts of violence.

War crimes allegations in Afghanistan include those allegedly committed by the Central Intelligence Agency and US forces.

The ICC is an global tribunal tasked with bringing to justice perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Bolton added: "We will take note if any countries cooperate with ICC investigations of the United States and its allies, and we will remember that cooperation when setting USA foreign assistance, military assistance, and intelligence sharing levels".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert added the decision was also prompted by Palestinian plans to bring charges against Israel for war crimes in the International Criminal Court.

"We will do the same for any company or state that assists in an ICC investigation of Americans". The PLO and the Palestinian Authority demanded that the ICC prosecute Israel and its leaders for crimes against the Palestinian people, and the ICC recently declared that it was "gathering information" on those complaints.

The national security adviser's announcement drew applause from the crowd. Refusing to cooperate with the ICC because you think it sets a bad precedent for national sovereignty is one thing.

We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017'.

"The US made the correct decision regarding the PLO mission in Washington", Netanyahu said in a statement published on Twitter.

Palestinian leaders confirmed they'd been informed by the Trump administration that it plans to shut the Palestinian mission in Washington, condemning the move as proof the disbanding global efforts toward a peace deal with Israel.

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On court, she said: "There's a lot of men out here who have said a lot things and because they are men nothing happens to them". Osaka won the final but her victory was overshadowed by the on-court drama and booing of officials during the trophy ceremony.

The ICC was established by the Rome Statute in 2002, but the USA did not ratify it as President George W Bush opposed the body.

It was a predictable step for an "America First" administration that does not acknowledge global institutions, treaties, or norms as reflecting USA values or interests.

In a further show of support, the court's overseeing body said it received "strong cooperation and backing" from its 123 member states as well as from other states, worldwide organisations and civil society.

He said the ICC lacked checks and balances, claimed "jurisdiction over crimes that have disputed and ambiguous definitions" and failed to "deter and punish atrocity crimes".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, shakes hands with US national security adviser John Bolton during their meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Aug. 20, 2018.

Relations have nosedived in recent months between the United States and the Palestinian leadership, which cut off contact with President Donald Trump's administration in December after he recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Under Trump, U.S. relations with the ICC also have grown more strained.

Most recently his administration ended US funding for the United Nations agency that helps Palestinian refugees, slashing hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for projects in the West Bank and Gaza and cutting funding to hospitals in Jerusalem that serve Palestinians. The United States and Israel are not.

Mr. Bolton's hostile words, in what the White House has called his first major address as national security adviser, echoed the position he took as a senior official in the George W. Bush administration, when Mr. Bolton emerged as the most virulent foe of the court, which is based in The Hague.

Israel welcomed the Trump administration's move and accused the Palestinians of seeing the court as a way of sidestepping US-sponsored bilateral talks.