Irish disapproval of U.S. court sanctions

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney


By Irish Echo Staff

Not for the first time in recent years Ireland has taken issue with a U.S. move on the international stage.

The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on the International Criminal Court. According to Bloomberg News, the U.S. sanctions, which President Trump authorized in June, include a freeze of top court officials’ assets held in the U.S.

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Additional sanctions have been applied in recent days.

According to the Bloomberg report, U.S. sanctions against top officials of the International Criminal Court are hindering its ability to seek justice for victims of some of the world’s most serious crimes, the home of the court’s chief prosecutor said in a statement.

Fatou Bensouda’s native Gambia urged the U.S. to reverse sanctions on her and her top aide, Phakiso Mochochoko, announced on September 2, this because of the court’s decision last year to reopen an investigation into allegations that American military and intelligence officials tortured detainees in Afghanistan.

"The sanctions are the latest attack on the legitimacy of the Hague-based institution seen as a 'court of last resort' for victims of genocide, war crimes and other atrocities," the report stated.

And it continued: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other senior administration officials have long complained about the ICC, which they view as a symbol of globalist overreach and unjust interference in American affairs. The U.S. has never been a party to the ICC, although the Obama administration cooperated with some cases.

Gambia urged the U.S. “to reverse the sanctions,” echoing an earlier call by France to do the same. Germany, the UK and Canada are among other countries who have condemned the U.S. move. Before last week’s announcement, the ICC defended its officials, calling the plan “an attack against the interest of victims of atrocity crimes, for many of whom the Court represents the last hope for justice.”

Ireland can be added to that list of protesting nations.

"I deeply regret the announcement made yesterday by the United States of measures against the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and a member of the Court’s staff," said Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

"The ICC is an independent and impartial institution with a key role in the fight against impunity.

"Ireland reiterates its continued support for the Court and for the values and principles enshrined in the Rome Statute.”