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US Secretary of State Slaps ICC Prosecutor with Sanctions
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda speaking at the Oslo Forum in 2014. (Stine Merethe Eid/Wikimedia Commons)

US Secretary of State Slaps ICC Prosecutor with Sanctions

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has been upsetting a lot of apple carts by broadening her mandate far beyond the parameters established for the international tribunal. In doing so, Fatou Bensouda has opened herself and the ICC to the appearance of being a politically driven organization rather than a serious international court. As she did in opening investigations into Palestinian complaints against Israel, which international law experts say exceeds ICC’s jurisdiction, her similar probes into alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan also defy the court’s limits. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the US is taking the “next step because the ICC continues to target Americans.” Bensouda and another official will have assets in the US frozen if there are any, and the prosecutor will be denied a visa to enter the United States. Anyone assisting Bensouda can also be hit with sanctions. Calling the ICC a “thoroughly broken and corrupted institution,” Pompeo said the country never ratified the Rome Statute that created the ICC and therefore the court has no jurisdiction over Americans.

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