The International Criminal Court hit back at the United States’ threats on Tuesday, vowing to continue work ‘undeterred’.
In a short statement released Tuesday, the ICC declared that it was “an independent and impartial judicial institution” which serves “as an instrument to ensure accountability for crimes that shock the conscience of humanity.”
According to the ICC, its “jurisdiction is subject to the primary jurisdiction of states themselves to investigate and prosecute allegations of those crimes and bring justice to the affected communities. It is only when the states concerned fail to do so at all or genuinely that the ICC will exercise jurisdiction.”
“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,” the statement concluded.
The court’s statement follows Monday’s threats by National Security Advisor John Bolton to sanction the ICC if it went ahead with plans to investigate suspected war crimes in Afghanistan carried out members of the US armed forces and the CIA between 2003 and 2004.
If the international court continues to pursue the probe, Washington will ban ICC judges from entering the country, prosecute them and sanction their funds, the official said in a speech before the Federalist Society in Washington, DC.
All the US citizens, “operating in the service of the government” anywhere in the world, are subjects to the American justice system only, Bolton said. “On this Earth, we don’t recognize any authority higher than the US constitution.”
Bolton also ripped into the court’s threat to Washington’s “friend and ally” ‘Israel’ as he referred to the investigation into crimes against Palestinians.