US withdraws ICC prosecutor's visa over inquiry into alleged war crime

US withdraws ICC prosecutor's visa over inquiry into alleged war crime

The visa of a high-ranking chief prosecutor at the International Court of Justice, Fatou Bensouda, has been revoked by the United States after she called for an investigation into the potential war crime by US soldiers in Afghanistan.

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Briefly.co.za gathers that Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian national, had vowed in a statement from her office to purse the alleged war crime in line with the law guiding her duty ''without fear of favour.''

Her decision has, however, angered US with the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, announcing that the country has placed restrictions on ''any ICC staff'' who investigated US or allied personnel, The Guardian UK reports.

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Pompeo’s move came as he delivered a snub to multilateralism by refusing to attend a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in France on Friday, April 5.

According to report, the revocation has furthered established US's frosty relationship with ICC as America continues to demonstrate its policy of non-cooperation with the international court.

Announcing the decision, which he said was born out of attack on US, Pompey said: “If you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of US personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan you should not assume that you still have, or will get, a visa or that you will permitted to enter the United States.”

The Background

Briefly.co.za gathers that decision was rooted in November 2017 when Bensouda sought ICC judges for authorisation to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan by the Taliban, Afghan government forces and international forces, including US troops.

Bensouda had claimed that she enjoyed an “independent and impartial mandate” under the Rome statute governing the ICC.

The statement from her office read: “The prosecutor and her office will continue to undertake that statutory duty with utmost commitment and professionalism, without fear or favour.''

ICC's reaction

ICC in a reaction, said the US decision would not affect Bensouda’s trips to the UN in New York, where she gives regular briefings to the security council

The court noted that since the UN office is covered by a form of diplomatic immunity, Bensounda's special duty as its staff will not be affected by the visa withdrawal.

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Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za had reported that a summary of a report by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller had cleared US president, Donald Trump, of an alleged conspiracy with Russia for his victory during the 2016 presidential election.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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