U.S. lifts Trump's sanctions on ICC prosecutor, court official
The United States on Friday lifted sanctions on International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda that drew international criticism after they were imposed by the administration of former President Donald Trump, according to Reuters.
The move, announced by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, lifts the sanctions imposed on Bensouda over her investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
It also removes Phakiso Mochochoko, head of the ICC’s Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division, from the Specially Designated Nationals list.
In a statement, Blinken said the State Department had also terminated a separate 2019 policy on visa restrictions on certain ICC personnel and added: “These decisions reflect our assessment that the measures adopted were inappropriate and ineffective.”
Blinken said Washington was taking the step even though it continued “to disagree strongly with the ICC’s actions relating to the Afghanistan and Palestinian situations” and to object to ICC “efforts to assert jurisdiction over personnel of non-States Parties such as the United States and Israel.”
The Trump administration last year accused the Hague-based ICC of infringing on U.S. national sovereignty when it authorized an investigation into war crimes committed by Afghan forces, the Taliban or U.S. troops.
The ICC said the sanctions were an attack on international justice and the rule of law.
Then U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also opposed an investigation launched in 2019 into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian Territories, including by Israeli forces.