International court judges reject Afghanistan investigation

The ICC decision shows justice is dead for Afghanistan

In a surprising, and all the more welcome, move, the Hague-based solons this morning unanimously rejected a bid by the courts own chief prosecutor to open an investigation into whether our GIs and intelligence operators committed crimes in Afghanistan.

They also cited the long period of time that had passed since the investigation began in 2006, and said the court needed to "use its resources prioritising activities that would have better chances to succeed".

The International Criminal Court dropped plans on Friday to investigate alleged war crimes of US military and intelligence personnel in Afghanistan.

But it said that it was ultimately rejecting the request because "the current circumstances of the situation in Afghanistan are such as to make the prospects for a successful investigation and prosecution extremely limited".

This is a major worldwide victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law.

It comes a week after the United States revoked ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's visa. The move was believed to be in response to the investigation which would involve actions of American soldiers.

"We will let the ICC die on its own", Bolton said past year.

It is "outrageous that victims of war crimes are far less likely to get justice for well-documented atrocities because of the Trump administration's authoritarian efforts to sabotage an investigation before it could even get started", said Jamil Dakwar, the director of the Human Rights Program at the American Civil Liberties Union, TheNYT reported.

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"This is a vindication of the president's support for American sovereignty, and a rejection of the idea that there can be accountability for American citizens by any authority other than American constitutional institutions", Bolton said in a briefing with reporters Friday afternoon.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who last month said the United States would deny or revoke visas to ICC investigators looking into abuses by USA citizens and allies, also characterized it as a victory.

Human rights groups warned that the decision would have repercussions well beyond Afghanistan.

"By closing the door on this investigation, the ICC judges have let political considerations outweigh the rights of victims to see their abusers held to account", Singh said. She said that the groups allegedly responsible for possible crimes are the Taliban and other armed groups, Afghan forces, and USA personnel.

While welcomed by the Trump White House, the court's decision drew outrage from a number of human rights organizations, including the United Kingdom -based group Reprieve. "This sends a risky message to perpetrators that they can put themselves beyond the reach of the law just by being uncooperative".

Washington has opposed the investigation saying that the court threatened U.S. sovereignty and has not signed the Rome Statute.

On April 12, 2019, a pretrial chamber unanimously rejected the November 2017 request by the court's prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to investigate alleged crimes against humanity by the Taliban and alleged war crimes by Afghan National Security Forces and the U.S. military and Central Intelligence Agency.

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