For the time being, the US government must not take action against lawyers from the International Criminal Court who are investigating US citizens. Inconvenient allegations should not be warded off, ruled a judge.
According to a judge, the US government must initially not take action against human rights lawyers who support the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Federal District Judge Katherine Polk Failla issued a corresponding injunction on Monday, blocking an order from President Donald Trump.
Trump approved an injunction in June that could freeze property owned by court officials in the United States. Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda was placed on that sanctions list in September for her investigation into US security forces. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then called the court “a broken and corrupt institution”.
The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda: The United States put you on the sanctions list. (Source: Eva Plevier / Reuters)
Judge: Measure should be a violation of freedom of expression
The government’s measure is likely to be a violation of the constitutional freedom of expression, she said. “Concerns about national security should not be turned into a talisman to ward off uncomfortable accusations.” A statement by the Ministry of Justice was initially not available.
In March, the International Criminal Court in The Hague cleared the way for investigations into possible war crimes in Afghanistan – which are also directed against US soldiers and employees of the US secret service CIA. Trump administration officials accuse the court of violating US sovereignty and serving Russian interests. According to insiders, President-elect Joe Biden could reverse his predecessor’s actions.