The international criminal court before the United States was not the defendant

The international criminal court before the United States was not the defendant

The international criminal court (ICC) will continue independent work on investigation of crimes despite the threat of sanctions from Washington. This was stated on Tuesday by the ICC, commenting on the speech of the adviser to the President for national security John Bolton: yesterday, he promised to deny entry to the United States, judges and prosecutors of the ICC to impose penalties on the funds of the international body and deprive it of its “broad authority” through the UN security Council. The reasons for such measures — the court’s investigation into the actions of the us military in Afghanistan, and the threat of proceedings in relation to key middle Eastern ally — Israel.


“The ICC as a court, acting in accordance with its Statute, will continue its work in accordance with established principles and the global rule of law,” he said Tuesday in the international criminal justice, investigating cases of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression.

A day earlier, the ICC was criticized by John Bolton, who promised to give him “the opportunity to die a natural death”. “If the court will conduct an investigation against us, Israel or other allies, we won’t stay aside,” — said the adviser of the us President.

He promised, first, to prohibit the entry of judges and prosecutors of the ICC. Second, to impose sanctions in relation to the funds of the court located in the United States. Third, is to pursue members of the authority “in the courts in the American criminal law.” Mr. Bolton added, the same will be done “in relation to any private company or the state, which will cooperate with the ICC in the prosecution of US citizens”.

Washington also plans to raise in the UN security Council the issue of “depriving the court of its wide powers” to investigate, the ICC could not relate to Americans and citizens of allied countries of the US, which has not ratified the Rome Statute — the document that established the ICC in 1998. The United States signed the document in 2000 but has not ratified it, and in 2002 President George W. Bush and even withdrew the signature. Since then, the relationship of the ICC with Washington remain strained. Over the years, representatives of the US administration said that the court is violating the country’s sovereignty and its national interests. In a speech on 10 September John Bolton said that the United States confused with the attempts of the ICC to prosecute American military personnel for crimes in Afghanistan.

The main reason why John Bolton complained to the ICC, linked to the Palestinian question.

On Monday the US announced the closure of the office of the Palestine liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington. This was preceded by treatment of Palestine to the ICC in may this year with a request to launch an investigation into the crimes committed by the “official persons and other citizens of Israel” on Palestinian territory (in particular, we are talking about occasional March in the Gaza strip clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers).

John Bolton explained that Israel is trying “to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks on the West Bank of the Jordan river and Gaza strip”, Palestine is the country threatened, in connection with which the US “will not allow the ICC or any other organization to restrict the right of Israel to defend itself”.

“In the position of Mr. Bolton is nothing new,” explains “b” associate Professor of the chair of international law HSE Gleb Bogush, Recalling: “In the words of the officer, he “had the honor” to be an architect hostile to the ICC policy of the administration of George W. Bush, withdrew his signature under the Rome Statute”. While in the sounded threats of sanctions against the court in General and of cooperating countries in particular, the expert sees the trend, citing the criminal case opened in Russia against all the members of the constitutional court of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the view of Mr. Bolton that “us military and all US citizens are immune regardless of where and what they accomplished,” according to Gleb Bogush, “is extremely far from international law and from the position of the USA relative to other countries.” “Indeed, the United States are not parties to the Rome Statute and are not required to cooperate with the court (to which no one’s coercing them). But in the case of, for example, “Afghan” investigation of the court, it is not about “universal” jurisdiction, says Bolton, — says the interlocutor of Kommersant.— Afghanistan — a state party to the ICC, and we are talking about crimes committed on the territory of Afghanistan.”

“If the actions of the Court consistent with its mandate, but for some reason don’t like US, that’s not a reason to threaten the structure of penalties, including harassment of its employees — evaluates the statement of John Bolton comments, “Kommersant” Professor of international law, judge of the international criminal tribunals of the UN in retirement Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov.— Otherwise USA will become like the Libyan warlords, in 2012 seized a group of employees of the ICC”.

On Tuesday at the international side of the court delivered France: the foreign Ministry recalled that the ICC “must be able to conduct their activities without interference”.

And the Minister of foreign Affairs of Iran Javad Zarif said: “the Brutality of this fraudulent American regime, it seems, knows no borders.” Russian diplomats, meanwhile, did not officially Express their opinion on the situation. “This foreign policy step does not concern Russia. Russia is not a party to the ICC,” — said in the Ministry at the request of Kommersant to comment on the threat of John Bolton.

We will remind, Moscow has refused from the intentions to enter this on two years ago, and has not ratified the document, which was signed in 2000. The release was preceded by the decision of the ICC to initiate an investigation of war crimes in Georgia and South Ossetia in 2008 and the annual report of the chief Prosecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda about conflicts that were under preliminary examination.

The report was published on 14 November 2016, and the annexation of Crimea to Russia was equated it to the occupation, and the situation on the Peninsula — an “international armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia.” Now Russia does not extradite to the International criminal court citizens wanted them.

While the foreign Ministry has refrained from discussing the intentions of the United States, Senator Andrey Klishas in conversation with “RIA Novosti”, said the White house plans a “culmination of American antagonism towards the international law and civilized means of resolution of international controversies.” We will remind, in the reign of Donald trump, the US withdrew from the TRANS-Pacific partnership, the Paris climate agreement, UNESCO, Iranian nuclear deal, Council on human rights of the UN, and stop funding the middle East the UN Agency for Palestinian refugees.

Ekaterina Mareeva; Anna Pushkarskaya, St. Petersburg; Elena Chernenko