The US will sanction two International Criminal Court (ICC) officials for efforts to prosecute American nationals, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday.
Addressing reporters at the State Department, Pompeo described the Court as being “a thoroughly corrupted and broken institution,” and said the US “will not tolerate its illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction.”
He said the two officials are ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer, and Phakiso Mochochoko, the head of the Court’s Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division.
Pompeo warned that individuals and entities “that continue to support those individuals risk exposure to sanctions as well,” potentially leaving the door open to far-reaching follow-on sanctions within the Hague-based top international court.
The decision to sanction Bensouda and Mochochoko come after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in June authorizing sanctions against ICC personnel, including blocking their property that is subject to US jurisdiction.
In March, the Court unanimously authorized a probe into war crimes in Afghanistan allegedly committed by the US, Afghan and Taliban forces. The inclusion of US troops in the investigation has drawn the ire of Trump and his top officials.
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