United States government has publicly condemned the unanimous decision by the
International Criminal Court authorising the opening of an investigation into
the alleged crimes committed by in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
In a four
paragraph press release
published on the United States
website, the secretary of state Michael Pompeo termed the ICC as an
“unaccountable political institution, masquerading as a legal body” and vowed
to protect its citizens from the Court of last resort.
not the first time that the US has threatened and publicly attacked the court
and its officials. On April 5, 2019 the United States government revoked Fatou
Bensouda’s entry visa into the country. In 2017, the American national security
adviser, John Bolton threatened ICC judges and prosecutors during his speech to
the Federalist Society in Washington DC, stating that they would face
individual criminal charges, arrests and economic sanctions if they dared
charge any American armed forces member.
5, 2020, the Appeals chamber of the International Criminal Court has
unanimously authorised the opening of an investigation into the atrocities
committed in Afghanistan.
comes three months after the Appeal chamber in a 4-1 oral decision, denied victims
standing to appeal the Afghanistan decision stating that victims are not
parties and have not right to trigger proceedings.
has found that Pre-Trial Chamber II made a mistake while delivering decision on
the prosecutor’s request by not considering whether the crimes were actually
committed and the probability of a case arising from the investigation and that
falls under ICC’s jurisdiction. As a result, the Appeal Chamber amended the
Trial Chamber’s decision and allowed for investigation of the atrocities
committed in Afghanistan.
judges concluded that the agreements between the United States and Afghanistan are
not a matter for consideration while assessing the authorisation of the
investigation following the arguments presented during December hearing.
bench of judges consists of Judge Piotr Hofmański, Presiding Judge, Judge
Howard Morrison, Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa, Judge Kimberly Prost and Judge Luz
del Carmen Ibáñez Carranza.
November 20, 2017-The prosecutor requests authorization from
Pre-Trial Judges to commence investigation into the situation in Afghanistan.
April 12, 2019 -The pre-trial chamber II unanimously
rejects the prosecutor’s request citing that “an investigation into the
situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not
serve the interests of justice.” The decision also added that “the time elapsed
since the opening of the preliminary examination in 2006 and the political
changing scene in Afghanistan since then, the lack of cooperation that the
Prosecutor has received and which is likely to go scarcer should an
investigation be authorized hampering the chances of successful investigation
and prosecution, as well as the need for the Court to use its resources
prioritizing activities that would have better chances to succeed.”
September 17, 2019– Pre-Trial Chamber II
allows the prosecutor to appeal on the pre-trial chamber’s interpretation on
the interest of justice, the understanding on the scope of investigations it
may allow and the exercise of the Pre-Trial Chamber’s discretion.
2, 2019-The Government of Afghanistan filed
December 4 to 6, 2019 – ICC Appeals Chamber
listens to oral arguments.
December 5, 2019– The Appeals chamber rule
that Victims have no standing in the case.
December 6, 2019– The hearing is closed.
Judges to make a ruling in due course.
March 5, 2020-The Appeals chamber judges
amend the pre trial’s chamber decision and authorise the investigation in the
situation in Afghanistan
March 5, 2020- The United States
government responds attacking to the ICC Appeals chamber decision.