In the US, President Joe Biden lifted previous President Donald Trump’s sanctions on International Criminal Court (ICC) officials.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the withdrawal of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration against ICC Attorney General Fatou Bensouda and Head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division Phakiso Mochochoko.
Blinken stated in his statement that the US opposed some lawsuits filed by the court, but they expect these concerns to be resolved through diplomacy rather than sanctions.
FROZEN HIS ASSETS
The Trump administration decided to impose sanctions on the authorities because the court, headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, approved the case investigations against the US and its ally Israel, involving war crimes allegations. Bensouda was first banned from traveling to the US in March 2019, followed by a decision to freeze Bensouda and Mochochoko’s assets in the US 18 months later.
The court, which was established to bring war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity to justice in countries where there is not an adequate judicial system, has been operating since 2002. While 120 countries have signed the Rome Statute of 1998, which is the founding agreement of the court, the USA and Israel are among the countries that are not parties to the agreement.