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ICC Prosecutor threatened: Court 'built for Africa and thugs like Putin'

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor was told by a senior US politician that The Hague is for 'Africans and thugs like Putin' and not Western leaders.

May 21, 2024 at 1:13 pm

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Prosecutor said he received threats while conducting investigations against top Israeli officials, with a senior figure telling him the Court was “built for Africa and for thugs like Putin”, and not for the West and its allies, Anadolu Agency reports.

In an interview with CNN, Karim Khan said: “I’ve had some elected leaders speak to me and they were very blunt. ‘This Court is built for Africa and for thugs like Putin’ was what one senior leader told me.”

“We don’t do it like that,” he said, adding: “This Court should be the triumph of law, over power and brute force: grab what you can take what you want, do what you will.”

The ICC is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, along with Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh and Mohamed Deif.

The charges against Netanyahu and Gallant include “causing extermination, using starvation as a method of war by denying humanitarian relief supplies and deliberately targeting civilians in conflict,” he added.

READ: Borrell reminds ICC member states that they must implement rulings

The charges against Sinwar, Haniyeh, and Deif include “extermination, murder, taking of hostages, rape, and sexual assault in detention,” Khan told CNN.

“Nobody is above the law,” he said.

He suggested that if Israel disagrees with the ICC, “they are free to challenge the jurisdiction before the Court judges, and that’s my advice to them.”

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in the enclave.

More than 35,500 Palestinians have since been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and over 79,600 others injured since last October following a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group, Hamas. The Hamas attack left nearly 1,200 killed and hundreds others were taken hostage.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which, in January, issued an interim ruling that ordered it to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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