The International Criminal Court (ICC) has firmly dismissed a threat of sanctions against it by US National Security Adviser John Bolton in case it probes possible US war crimes in Afghanistan, declaring that it will continue its work “undeterred.”
According to Press TV, the ICC announced in a Tuesday statement, a day after Bolton used bullying rhetoric against the UN-backed tribunal in The Hague “The ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law.”
Bolton brazenly threatened on Monday that if the ICC proceeded with a possible probe into possible war crimes committed by the US military and intelligence operatives during its war in Afghanistan or pursued any investigation into war crimes by the Israeli regime or other American allies, Washington would impose sanctions against the court and seek to prosecute its officials where possible.
Reacting to the unprecedented threat by the senior US official, the international court further insisted that it was an independent and impartial institution with the backing of 123 nations, and that it would not be intimidated or dissuaded from its global task.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced last year that there was a “reasonable basis to believe” war crimes and crimes against humanity had been committed in Afghanistan and that all sides in the 17-year-old conflict would be inspected, including members of the US military and its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spying network.
In its Tuesday statement, the ICC did not say clearly whether it will launch a probe of possible war crimes by the US in Afghanistan.
Bolton threatened that if such an investigation went forward, Washington would ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the US, sanction the funds they have there, and even prosecute them in American courts.