US lifts Trump-era sanctions against ICC prosecutor

US lifts Trump-era sanctions against ICC prosecutor
The sanctions against Fatou Bensouda were announced after she launched an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The United States has lifted sanctions on Fatou Bensouda, a top prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Former President Donald Trump’s administration, imposed the sanction on the prosecutor over ICC’s investigation’s into alleged war crimes by the US in Afghanistan, and US ally Israel in the Palestinian territories.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the move adding that the sanctions “were inappropriate and ineffective” and called for closer co-operation.

The United States is not a member of the ICC.

The US has also removed the head of the ICC’s Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division, Phakiso Mochochoko, from the Specially Designated Nationals list, and has terminated a separate 2019 policy on visa restrictions on specific ICC personnel.

The US Secretary of State said in a statement that US continued to “disagree strongly with the ICC’s actions relating to the Afghanistan and Palestinian situations”, and that Washington objected to the ICC’s “efforts to assert jurisdiction over personnel of non-States Parties such as the United States and Israel”.

Mr Blinken said their concerns about these cases would be better addressed through engagement with all stakeholders in the ICC process rather than through the imposition of sanctions.

The former Trump administration accused the ICC last year of infringing on the US’s national sovereignty when it launched its investigation into potential war crimes committed by US forces, the Taliban and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the court a “thoroughly broken and corrupted institution”, while announcing the sanctions.

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