Mike Pompeo Secretary of State made an announcement on Wednesday regarding sanctions against two International Criminal Court officials; the Trump administration’s most aggressive move yet to try to deter an ICC investigation into possible war crimes by US military and intelligence officials.
The top United States diplomat indicated that he was designating International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, and the ICC’s Head of Jurisdiction, Complementary, and Cooperation Division Phakiso Mochochoko “for having materially assisted Prosecutor Bensouda.”
He gave a warning during a press conference at the State Department that “Individuals and entities that continue to materially support those individuals risk exposure to sanctions as well… Additionally, the State Department has restricted the issuance of visas for certain individuals involved in the ICC’s efforts to investigate US personnel.”
The decision was however quickly condemned by the international tribunal, human rights organizations and the foreign minister of the Netherlands, where the ICC is based.
The ICC said in an official statement that “These coercive acts, directed at an international judicial institution and its civil servants, are unprecedented and constitute serious attacks against the Court, the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice, and the rule of law more generally.”