Trump says Israelis should be immune from International Criminal Court

ICC rejects request to investigate war crimes in Afghanistan

In a statement Friday, President Donald Trump declared victory after the ICC rejected a request to investigate United States personnel for actions in Afghanistan.

A significant amount of time has passed since numerous crimes were allegedly committed, the judges said, and there's a need for the ICC "to use its resources prioritizing activities that would have a better changes to succeed".

Bensouda in late 2017 asked judges to give her permission to probe alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan committed by the Taliban, Afghan government forces and worldwide forces including USA troops.

The refusal of the Pre-Trial Chamber to authorize the investigation does not preclude the Prosecutor presenting a new request based on new facts or evidence regarding the same situation.

In a statement released by the White House, the Trump administration hailed the decision not to investigate USA personnel as "a major global victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law". Fatou Bensouda's U.S. visa was revoked over a possible probe involving American soldiers' actions since 2003 in the bloody Afghan conflict.

Bensouda, who says that the United States and Afghanistan have taken no steps to properly investigate alleged crimes, offered a measured response, with her office saying it would "analyse the decision and its implications, and consider all available legal remedies".

In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead", Pompeo reiterated that the ICC "has no jurisdiction" over the US.

The ICC has so far has charged or tried only people from the developing countries although the Afghanistan investigation was meant to show that it could also act against western countries. National Security Adviser John Bolton threatened the ICC with sanctions last September if they pursued cases against United States citizens.

"This decision will likely come to be seen as the beginning of a broader effort by the judges and the Prosecutor to orient the Court's very limited resources toward those investigations where there exists some meaningful prospect of success", Whiting wrote.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that Washington would revoke or deny visas to ICC staff seeking to investigate alleged war crimes and abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. "This sends a unsafe message to perpetrators that they can put themselves beyond the reach of the law just by being uncooperative".

Last week, Washington canceled the entry visa of ICC's chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, saying that anyone who dared investigate U.S. military or intelligence personnel would face the same fate.

"If you are responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of US personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, you should not assume that you still have or will get a visa or will be permitted to enter the United States", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ICC employees March 15, TIME reported.

In his statement, he called the ICC "illegitimate" and said it would be met with a "swift and vigorous response" if it tried to prosecute citizens of the USA or its allies.

The United States signed the Rome Statute creating the court in 2000 during the Clinton administration but never joined, as have 123 other countries.

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