Washington attempts to block International Criminal Court prosecution

World Today

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 10: U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks at a Federalist Society luncheon September 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. During his remarks, Bolton announced the United States will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court, and that the Trump administration intends to close the P.L.O. Mission in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP

Washington is threatening to block any attempt by the International Criminal Court to prosecute Americans for possible war crimes. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton announced the decision Monday, calling the court “illegitimate” and a “threat to American sovereignty.”

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

A longtime critic of the International Criminal Court, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said Washington will retaliate against the ICC if it attempts to indict Americans for the alleged use of torture in Afghanistan.

“We will not cooperate, engage, fund or assist the ICC in any way,” Bolton said. “The president will not allow American citizens to be prosecuted by foreign bureaucrats. And it will not allow other nations to dictate our means of self-defense.”

Bolton said the U.S. will ban ICC judges and prosecutors from coming into the country and sanction their finances—even prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system.

He also threatened to dock foreign aid and military assistance from countries that cooperate with the court.

Bolton said he was responding to the ICC informing the White House that it plans to open an investigation into allegations of U.S. war crimes.

Bolton’s remarks come on the same day that the U.S. State Department announced it will close the Washington office of the PLO—or Palestinian Liberation Organization.


The State Department said this decision was consistent with U.S. policy to oppose and punish Palestinian attempts to bring Israel before the ICC. It isn’t the first time this administration has disappointed the Palestinians.

In May, the Trump administration moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Over the weekend, Trump slashed 25 million dollars in U.S. aid to Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem.

“The U.S. administration’s decision (is) to protect Israel from war crimes, crimes against humanity that Israel is committing in the occupied Palestinian territories, and to dismantle the system of international law and the mechanisms of international law,” said Husam Zomlot, Head of the PLO mission in Washington.

The White House notified the Palestinians last November it would close their Washington office unless they entered serious peace talks with Israel.

So, what does this mean for a White House peace plan for the region? Bolton said Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, is still working on it.