US places sanctions on International Criminal Court prosecutor

US places sanctions on International Criminal Court prosecutor
'Today we take the next step, because the ICC continues to target Americans,' said Pompeo, announcing sanctions on Fatou Bensouda over the investigation into potential US war crimes in Afghanistan
1 min read
02 September, 2020
ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will be sanctioned by the US [Getty]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions on Wednesday against the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, objecting to the investigation of US soldiers for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

Also added to the US sanctions blacklist was Phakiso Mochochoko, director of the ICC's Jurisdiction, Complementary and Cooperation Division, for "having materially assisted Prosecutor Bensouda," Pompeo said.

Pompeo said other ICC officials have already faced denial of visas to the United States over the investigations of US military personnel.

"Today we take the next step, because the ICC continues to target Americans, sadly," he said.

He added that visa restrictions and broader sanctions could be applied to those helping Bensouda and Mochochoko.

The move came after President Donald Trump authorized sanctions on the Hague-based tribunal on June 11 for probing and prosecuting US troops.

Pompeo at the time referred to the ICC as a "kangaroo court" and warned that if US soldiers are investigated by it, those of US allies in Afghanistan risk the same threat.

US Attorney General Bill Barr said in June that the ICC has become "little more than a political tool employed by unaccountable international elites."

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