Earlier, White House National Security Advisor John Bolton said that the US would not cooperate with, provide assistance to or join the International Criminal Court, and threatened court officials with sanctions if the tribunal investigates suspected war crimes by US military personnel in Afghanistan.
In a short statement released Tuesday, the ICC declared that it was “an independent and impartial judicial institution” which serves “as an instrument to ensure accountability for crimes that shock the conscience of humanity.”
According to the ICC, its “jurisdiction is subject to the primary jurisdiction of states themselves to investigate and prosecute allegations of those crimes and bring justice to the affected communities. It is only when the states concerned fail to do so at all or genuinely that the ICC will exercise jurisdiction.”
“The ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law,” the statement concluded.
The court’s statement follows Monday’s threats by National Security Advisor John Bolton to sanction the ICC if it went ahead with plans to investigate suspected war crimes in Afghanistan carried out members of the US armed forces and the CIA between 2003 and 2004.
Later in the day, when asked to comment on Bolton’s remarks, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the ICC’s…