US to take tough stand against International Criminal Court

trump-cohen-manafort-reuters US President Donald Trump speaks at a Make America Great Again rally at the Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia | Reuters

The Trump administration will adopt an aggressive stand against the International Criminal Court if it proceeds with an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by American in Afghanistan. The administration said that the judges will face sanctions.

National security adviser John Bolton is expected to make an announcement in a speech to the Federalist Society in Washington today, Reuters said. "The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," Bolton will say, according to a draft of his speech seen by Reuters.

The announcement regarding the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) office in Washington is also expected. This out of the concern over Palestinian attempts to prompt an ICC investigation of Israel. "The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel," says Bolton's draft text.

The draft speech says the Trump administration "will fight back" if the International Criminal Court formally proceeds with opening an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by US service members and intelligence professionals during the war in Afghanistan.

If such a probe proceeds, the Trump administration will consider banning judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, put sanctions on any funds they have in the US financial system and prosecute them in the American court system.

"We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us," says Bolton's draft text.