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Justice is still being sought nine years after Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara

By Gülden Sönmez | MEMO | June 19, 2019

On 31 May, 2010, Israel carried out a deadly attack on human rights activists trying to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip. After boarding the Mavi Marmara during a dawn raid whilst it was sailing in international waters, Israeli soldiers killed nine aid workers and injured several others; one of those injured succumbed to his wounds a few years later. The assault was met with international outrage, but nine years on the victims of the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla are still seeking justice. I was on board the Mavi Marmara on that day and witnessed the ordeal of my fellow passengers. Since then, as a lawyer, I have been working closely with the victims in their quest for justice.

The victims of the attack and their families took their case to the International Criminal Court (ICC). On 14 May 2013, an application was made to the ICC on behalf of the Comoros, where the Mavi Marmara was registered, against several Israeli politicians and military officials. These included the late Shimon Peres, who was President of Israel at the time, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They were accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

In her first decision on 6 November 2014, the ICC Prosecutor stated that war crimes had been committed by Israel, describing the attack as “wilful killing and causing serious injury to body and health, and committing outrages upon personal dignity.” All of the passengers taking part in the Flotilla had the status of protected civilians under international law and the Israeli soldiers carried out the attack despite knowing that the passengers were civilians. The Prosecutor objected to Israel’s claims of self-defence by stating that, “The autopsy reports of those killed indicate that they have received multiple shots in the head, legs and neck and at least five of the passengers who were killed were shot at close range.”

Despite finding evidence to indicate that crimes may have been committed by Israel, the Prosecutor refused to open an investigation into the attack on the basis that it did not carry sufficient “gravity” to justify further action by the Court. Following an appeal by the lawyers of the Mavi Marmara victims, the Court concluded that the Prosecutor had erred in her decision.

In a decision issued on 15 November 2018, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber once again found that the Prosecutor was wrong and ordered her to reconsider. It also requested the Prosecutor to reach a final decision by 15 May 2019 to prevent any further delay to the process. The ICC Prosecutor appealed against this decision, following which the ICC Appeals Chamber decided to hold a hearing on 1 May 2019 to hear from the Prosecutor as well as the lawyers acting for the victims of the Israeli attack. The families of the victims as well as representatives from the Flotilla were present in the hearing. The victims have expressed concern over the Prosecutor’s stance in this process, claiming that that she may be caving-in to external pressure.

These concerns were reinforced recently when US National Security Adviser John Bolton threatened the ICC. “If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies,” the right-wing hawk warned, “we will not sit quietly. The United States will retaliate by banning ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the US, imposing sanctions.” The victims responded by calling on relevant bodies to safeguard the Court’s freedom and allow it to do its job.

The fate of our case at the ICC will now not be known until September, when the ICC will deliver its judgment from the hearing concerning the procedural conduct of the case. We are hopeful that the Prosecutor and the Court will initiate this investigation freely as a matter of justice. It should not be forgotten that the ICC is the most precious hope of humanity and the victims of state terrorism and crimes against humanity.

The ICC, though, is not our only hope for justice. The victims have pursued their quest in countries with universal jurisdiction and legislation that is applicable to our case. In Spain, a criminal complaint has been launched by Spanish citizens who were on board the Mavi Marmara. The legal process has been carried out with difficulties due to the pressure applied by Israel. However, a case was finally filed at the country’s High Court, which issued an arrest warrant for seven people, including Netanyahu, Ehud Barak — Israel’s Minister of Defence at the time — and several other senior military and political officials. Our campaign prompted legislative changes in Spain which have blunted universal jurisdiction provisions and, consequently, the chance for victims of crimes against humanity being able to obtain justice.

In America, our case has also faced challenges. The family of Furkan Doğan, a US citizen who was killed during the raid on the Mavi Marmara, filed a case at the US District Court for the Central District of California. Ehud Barak was called to appear before the court to be tried for planning and ordering the crimes, including the unlawful attack on civilians and intentionally killing Doğan in international waters, as well as the crimes of international terrorism, torture, mistreatment, cruel treatment and unjust detention.

The US State Department informed the Doğan family lawyers through the court that Barak enjoyed diplomatic immunity. In the first hearing on procedure, which took place on 22 July 2016, the Israeli lawyers argued that an agreement had already been reached between Turkey and Israel. The court decided that the case could not proceed further. Following this, an appeal was made by the Doğan legal team. No decision has yet been made on the appeal.

In a separate lawsuit, three American citizens who were on board the US-flagged Challenger I, which was part of the Flotilla, filed a case in the US District Court for the District of Columbia against the State of Israel for the losses suffered during the attack. US Counsel for the Plaintiffs, Steven Schneebaum, said that, “States are generally immune from suit in United States courts. But that immunity is waived in a number of circumstances. When agents of foreign governments commit wrongful acts in the United States that cause personal injury, and egregious acts against US nationals anywhere in the world, they are not entitled to immunity. We contend that both of those exceptions apply to the facts of this case.”

Professor Ralph Steinhardt, a leading international law expert at George Washington University and member of the Plaintiffs’ legal team added that, “The attack on Challenger I was a patent violation of international law, including the laws of war, human rights and the law of the sea. It falls to the courts of the United States to enforce the rules when – as here – Congress has given jurisdiction to those courts.”

However, as a result of the pressure and efforts of the pro-Israel lobby, this court did not open a case against the State of Israel.

Nevertheless, similar cases are also proceeding in South Africa, Turkey and Britain, where a complaint has been made to the Crown Prosecution Service and the police by lawyers acting on behalf of Mavi Marmara victims who are British citizens. Named in the complaint are Israel’s then Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi; the then Naval Forces Commander, Vice Admiral, Eliezer Marom; Air Forces Intelligence Director Brigadier General Avishai Levi; the then Chief of IDF Military Intelligence, Amos Yadlin; and five officers, including one of the commandos involved in the attack, Tal Russo.

An independent UN report concluded that the attack on the aid Flotilla was a severe violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law. After listing the various crimes committed by Israel it said that, “There is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention…” The UN called upon the ICC to take action. In addition, Sir Desmond De Silva, former International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor for Sierra Leone later expressed his opinion that the attack should be tried by the ICC. The UN report was formally adopted on 27 September, 2010, but little has been done since.

All of the victims of Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara and the rest of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla deserve justice for crimes carried out in international waters which clearly broke international laws and conventions. We will continue to seek justice in each and every court possible, no matter where it is in the world.

June 19, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Latest attempt to prosecute President Assad at the ICC is further criminalisation of “international justice”

Toby Cadman. Co-founder of Guernica Chambers 37, one of legal entities bringing latest case against President Assad at the ICC. (Photo: The ICC and our politics)
By Vanessa Beeley | 21st Century Wire | May 28, 2019

In March 2019 two law firms filed cases at the ICC against Syria’s President Bashar Al Assad and unnamed members of the Syrian government. Toby Cadman of Guernica Chambers and Rodney Dixon of Temple Garden Chambers were the protagonists in this latest attempt to criminalise the Syrian President and government.

These law firms are basing their case upon the testimony of 28 “refugees” from Syria who claim they were “forced” to flee to Jordan during the war that has been waged against Syria by a collective of interventionist mafia states that form the U.S coalition, determined to achieve regime change in Syria.

Syria is not a signatory to the ICC in the Hague but precedent was set by the ICC when a preliminary investigation was opened into military leaders of Myanmar for alleged crimes against humanity involving deportation of Rohingya people. Refugees fled to Bangladesh which is party to the Rome statute that established the ICC, as is Jordan where more than 1 million Syrian refugees now reside. Guernica Chambers and Rodney Dixon are clearly hoping that the Rohingya precedent will open up the legal avenue for their case.

Both legal firms are claiming the intended deportation of Syrian civillians by the Syrian government as part of their cases.

However, even some members of the legal profession, have already remarked upon possible holes in the case being presented by both legal entities. Kevin John Heller is Associate Professor of Public International Law at Amsterdam University. According to Heller, there is a vital element of the Syrian situation that distinguishes it from the Myanmar situation. Heller argues that in Myanmar, it is evident that the government “intended to drive the Rohingya into Bangladesh” while in Syria it is not evident that the Syrian government intended (in the legal sense) that their civilians end up in other countries. Heller points out that without sufficient evidence,  the Syrian government may only be accused of “forcible transfer” but not “deportation”. “Forcible transfer” falls outside the ICC’s jurisdiction because it takes place uniquely on Syrian territory.

“In other words: for the Court to investigate the forcible displacement of Syrian civilians proprio motu, it is deportation or bust.” ~ Kevin John Heller

This is not the first time that Guernica Chambers (GC) have attempted such a legal attack against the Syrian government. In March 2017, the Madrid offices of GC tried to bring a case against eight members of the Syrian security and intelligence services. The case was based upon the testimony of a Syrian national’s sister who had Spanish citizenship. Spain is party to the Rome Statute of the ICC. The woman allegedly identified the body of her brother among the photos that were “smuggled out of Syria” and formed part of the Caesar Report which I will discuss later in this article.

Who is really behind the legal war being waged against Syria? 

I asked Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Syria and outspoken critic of the UK government’s role in the eight year regime change campaign in Syria, to comment on the timing of this legal initiative. Ford told me:

Nothing could be more likely to bring the ICC into disrepute than this attempted action by actors transparently serving the political agenda of the British and Qatari governments. Having failed in attempted regime change via miltant proxies Syria’s enemies are now embarked on an enterprise to secure the same result by waging economic war which must be justified by constant demonizing of Assad. That is the game being played here.
Ford went on to tell me that:
“if the ICC goes along with it, that will provide more justification for those who accuse the ICC of being a tool of the rich and powerful, and an incentive to Assad to halt any move towards elections in Syria which might see him removed from power. This is just a cheap trick designed to make political capital out of the remaining credibility of the ICC, such as it is.”

Ford pinpointed the drivers behind these legal cases and the UK Government and intelligence services must be considered as primary players. The UK/US-led intervention alliance have seen their terrorist-proxy-military-campaign fail dismally after hitting the brick wall of the axis of resistance -Syria, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia with China offering diplomatic and technological support.

What will follow is perhaps an even more destructive economic warfare campaign that will capitalise upon the post war dissonance in Syria to pressurise the Syrian state and to further foment discontent among civilians now struggling to cope with life in a Syria that has been severely impacted by 8 years of terrorist occupation and destruction of infrastructure.

Academic and acclaimed author (A History of Political Trials), John Laughland, independently concurred with Ford’s conclusions. I asked Laughland why would this case receive prominence now, just as the Syrian/Russian/Iranian/Hezbollah arc of resistance is heading towards military success in Syria? He replied:

“I believe that the reason why this attempt is being made to circumvent the fact that the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction over Syria, is to remove Assad from power and to de-legitimise him as part of the future of Syria.  This has been the goal of the jihadists from the very beginning.”

Historian and analyst, Dr Marcus Papadopoulos, further expanded upon the timing of the legal case:

Well, talk of war crimes cases being brought against President Assad, at the International Criminal Court, has been in the air for some years now.  Indeed, I remember how such talk was emanating from Western capitals in 2012. However, there is no doubt that the today’s timing of lawyers, acting on behalf of Syrian refugees in Jordan, submitting lawsuits against the Syrian president at the ICC, is not coincidental.  Because today, the Syrian people have all but won the war against Western-backed terrorism and so by submitting cases now to the ICC is a way of Western governments subtly informing President Assad that whilst the military war against him has been lost, the legal, media and communications war against him will continue.

Furthermore, I suspect that by initiating ICC proceedings against the Syrian leader – which will only increase in volume and go on indefinitely – may be a way of the Americans and the British maintaining their military presence in Syria, as well as their sanctions on the Arab country, on the pretext that the region has a leader in power who ‘waged war against his own people, destabilising not just his country but the wider region’ hence the presence of American and British forces in Syria is a means to limiting any future ‘carnage’ that the Syrian ‘strongman’ (a favoured word from the West’s lexicon to describe leaders whom it disapproves of) can inflict on both Syria and the region.” (Emphasis added)

International criminal lawyer, Christopher C. Black, pointed out the importance of the NATO and UK government links of the legal firms:

“The answer is revealed in the lawyers who are behind this scheme to try to drag the ICC into the picture. Rodney Dixon and Toby Cadman, and, it seems, from your information, Geoffrey Nice. All of them have links to the British governent and NATO through acting for them in various capacities.”

Links to UK Foreign Office, NATO and the CIA

Guernica Chambers – offices  in London, Spain and Washington.

Toby Cadman. (Photo: Guernica 37 website)

Toby Cadman is the Co-founder and Head of Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers in London. According to the International Forum for Democracy and Human Rights (IFDHR), Cadman was hired by the UK Foreign Office in 2012 to “head a team to investigate crimes committed in the Syrian Arab Republic“.

I would challenge Cadman to demonstrate any serious investigation by Guernica into the ongoing crimes committed by the terrorist/extremist groups in Syria, armed and financed by the U.S Coalition. The fact that Cadman is a hired legal hand of one of the central players in the international campaign to reduce Syria to another Libya-style failed state, should immediately raise the alarm.

Doctors Under Fire – cluster of anti-Syria medical, legal and chemical “experts”

Cadman is also on the board of directors of Doctors Under Fire (formerly Medics Under Fire). Alongside him are Hamish De Bretton Gordon, Dr David Nott (Nott Foundation) and Dr Saleyha Ahsan.

Dr David Nott. (Photo: Nott Foundation website)

Nott has run UK Government-endorsed training courses for Syrian doctors in Gaziantep, Turkey – the hub of UK intelligence training for Syrian “opposition”, with a reputation for being the centre of ISIS organ and human trafficking operations. The flight from Istanbul to Gaziantep was known as the Jihad Express. The town itself was reported to be the area where new ISIS recruits from around the world would gather before being transported into Syria. The UK FCO-midwived and financed White Helmet propaganda construct also have their base in Gaziantep, established in 2013 by former MI6-turned-private-security expert, James Le Mesurier.

In 2013, Nott was largely responsible for the rumours that Syrian Arab Army snipers were targeting pregnant women in East Aleppo, which was freshly under control of the armed extremist gangs that included Al Qaeda in Syria, Nusra Front. The photo of a bullet lodged in an alleged foetal brain was published by most mainstream media outlets in the West without any expert second opinion regarding the credibility of such an image. Nott has operated on ISIS fighters during his forays (exclusively) into terrorist held territory of Syria.

Nott also amplified the discredited narrative surrounding Omran Daqneesh during the final moments before liberations of East Aleppo from terrorist rule. This story is now known to be another of the fraudulent campaigns to criminalise the Syrian government. This article by journalist, Steven Sahiounie, goes into depth about the bias and misprepresentation of reality by Nott during his time in the terrorist-held enclaves of Aleppo and Idlib.

Dr Saleyha Ahsan’s contradictory accounts of alleged chemical attack, showcased in BBC Panorama’s Saving Syria’s Children – forensically investigated by researcher, Robert Stuart.

Dr Saleyha Ahsan’s role in the BBC Panorama documentary, Saving Syria’s Children, has been exposed as potentially fraudulent by independent researcher, Robert Stuart. Actor and director Keith Allen is fronting a new crowdfunding campaign for a documentary examining the 2013 BBC Panorama programme Saving Syria’s Children. The project is in collaboration with British film, TV and radio producer, Victor Lewis-Smith. In 2017 Lewis-Smith challenged the BBC Panorama office over the issue. Failing to get satisfactory answers, Victor tore up a contract for a forthcoming comedy pilot with BBC Radio 4.

Hamish de Bretton Gordon. The media establishment go-to expert on chemical weapons.

Hamish de Bretton Gordon has been the go-to expert for the majority of corporate media outlets, particularly with regard to the alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria that BG invariably blames upon the Syrian government. David Miller, Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Bristol and a member of the Academic-established Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, stated very clearly in a recent interview that HBG:

“is an operative for MI6. He’s not a staff member of MI6 but he works very closely with MI6 in Syria trying to create evidence of chemical and biological weapons’ attacks.”

The full briefing note by the WGSPM can be found at this link: The alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018, and other alleged chlorine attacks in Syria since 2014. 

Doctors Under Fire appears to be another compromised organisation with a focus on misleading the British public into approving further military intervention in Syria under a familiar “humanitarian” pretext. Its ties to state media and intelligence services should be examined closely before their “expert” opinions be given serious consideration.

Toby Cadman – Ibrahim Olabi – White Helmets

Ibrahim Olabi. Joined Guernica Chambers in November 2018 as a pupil barrister. (Photo: Guernica Chambers website)

The Guernica inks to UK Government intellligence operations in Syria continue. Ibrahim Olabi joined Guernica Chambers in November 2018 as a pupil barrister. According to his bio on the GC website, Ibrahim Olabi “has worked extensively on international legal matters related to the Syrian conflict, including international humanitarian law, international criminal law and international human rights law” for the last five years.

Olabi is UK educated, having completed his LLB and LLM (Security and International Law) at the University of Manchester. Olabi is the director of the Syrian Legal Development Programme (SLDP). According to the GC website:

SLDP has provided legal expertise to Syrian NGOs, including training that Ibrahim delivered to more than 550 trainees on a range of complex legal surrounding forced displacement, torture, UN mechanisms, facilitation of humanitarian aid and other matters. He has trained both in Syria, near the front lines, and in neighbouring countries.

SLDP has received funding from the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Ministry. What seems extraordinary for a “pupil barrister” who only joined GC in November 2018, Olabi has an impressive track record of influencing major global institutions and state-linked think tanks on the Syrian conflict:

Ibrahim has also advocated in Geneva, Brussels, Washington and London on human rights issues relevant to Syria. He received personal invitations from the Heads of States such as Germany and The United Kingdom, and from the UN Secretary General. Ibrahim has spoken and chaired panels in forums such as Chatham House and Amnesty International, and delivered presentations at UK universities such as UCL, SOAS, Nottingham and Manchester amongst others. He also spoken on TV channels such as the CNN and the BBC.

Training the White Helmets. (Photo from SLDP website)

Among those trained by the SLDP are the primarily UK FCO-cultivated White Helmets who are exposed as terrorist group-auxiliaries and stand accused of committing crimes against the Syrian people that include child abduction and running organ trafficking operations from inside the terrorist-occupied territories.

The White Helmets have also been instrumental in producing the Syrian “chemical weapon” narratives supported by Cadman and his associate directors at Doctors Under Fire – designed to criminalise the Syrian government, often during the closing stages of military campaigns to liberate areas under control of the Western-sponsored armed groups.

The most recent White Helmet chemical attack narrative was in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, April 2018 – an alleged attack that precipitated the French, UK, US unlawful bombing of Syria before an investigation had been carried out by the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons).

Since this event, it has been demonstrated that the White Helmets had staged the hospital scenes that were widely published by western media to support the shaky narrative. Furthermore, a leaked engineers report, omitted from the OPCW final report, has raised alarming questions over OPCW’s impartiality and independence. The revelatory engineers report was sent to the aforementioned Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media who produced the briefing note which can be found here.

Guernica Chambers Advisory Board – Steve Rapp – CIA

Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp. (Photo: Guernica Chambers)

A look at the Guernica Chambers Advisory Board members reveals that Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp is listed as a board member. International criminal lawyer, Christopher Black, had clashed with Rapp during the Rwanda tribunal when Rapp was in charge of prosecutions:

“Stephen Rapp-well, there is your link to the CIA, US government. Rapp was at one time the guy in charge of prosecutions at the Rwanda tribunal. During his tenure, 2 of his henchmen-“investigators” began interviewing a former Rwandan cabinet minister in Lille, France. The investigators were two ex Montreal cops kicked off the force for corruption. There were rumours when I was there they had murdered witnesses.

Well at some point their interview of this guy became too heavy and he wrote a letter to the President of the tribunal stating that Rapp and his men were pressuring him to give false testimony against accused before the tribunal and that if he did not they were threatening to kill him and cut his body into pieces.

Two weeks later he disappeared after going to a final interview. We raised this letter in court. Two weeks after that his body was found in a canal in Brussels naked with his hands cut off. I asked that Rapp and his men be detained pending an investigation into that murder as they were the prime suspects.”  ~ Christopher Black

Stephen Rapp with Mouaz Moustafa of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) responsible for bringing John McCain into Syria illegally in 2013. (Photo: Zoom info)

Rapp is included in an index of contact profiles for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) whose executive director is Mouaz Moustafa. Moustafa is probably best known for his role in bringing neocon warhawk, John McCain, into Syria illegally in 2013. McCain’s trip was dogged with controversy after he met with recognised militant kidnappers:

“US Senator John McCain was photographed with a known affiliate of the rebel group responsible for the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims one year ago, during a brief and highly publicized visit inside Syria this week.” ~ Daily Star

Salim Idris, chief of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army and Mouaz Moustafa on right with John McCain.

Rapp and Moustafa were both heavily involved in the promotion of the Caesar report – Caesar is a codename for an alleged Syrian police photographer who apparently smuggled 53,275 photographs out of Syria implicating the Syrian government in a campaign of torture. This story has been investigated and discredited by independent researcher and journalist, Rick Sterling, his findings can be read here. Prof. Tim Hayward also analysed the credibility of the Caesar report in his more recent article in April 2019.

Caesar with Mouaz Moustafa in Washington DC. (Photo: Syrian American Council)

Having taken into account the glaring anomalies in Caesar’s accounts and in the identification of the photographs of “tortured” corpses attributed exclusively and erroneously to alleged victims of the Syrian government – Hayward drew the following conclusions:

To put bluntly this contextualised concern about Operation Caesar: not only may it already have altered the historical record, and not only may its effects have served to alter somewhat the course of history to date, but in serving to influence decision makers, it may contribute more indelibly to shifting the baseline of normative consensus in a direction favourable to ousting non-compliant leaders of sovereign states. That is effectively to bestow legitimacy on imperialist regime change projects.”

The FBI conducted its investigations into the Caesar report at Rapp’s request. The FBI carried out standard authentification analysis of 27,000 of the photographs and concluded that it could not “definitively rule out the possibility of tampering“. The report emerged at a crucial juncture in the dirty war being waged against Syria – just as members of Congress were pushing for increased “aid” for “rebels” and the creation of No-Fly-Zones and safe-zones for the U.S terrorist proxies disguised as “moderates”. Those members — including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce and ranking minority member Rep. Eliot Engelwere sponsor and co-sponsor of the subsequent Caesar bill, introduced in March 2017.

The bill had previously hit obstacles within the Obama administration in October 2016, when it was perceived that Obama was effectively trying to weaken the bill in favour of maintaining the ceasefire agreement with Moscow that was still active at that time.

The Caesar bill – Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2017/2018 was a means of increasing economic sanctions against Syria – never anything more than collective punishment for the Syrian people who have resisted eight years of regime change war that has decimated their infrastructure and severely affected their ability to survive economically.

Rapp defended the Caesar bill:

“It’s important to send the signal that those who engage in war crimes and those who aid and abet them are held to account with tools that are effective, and in the short term the most effective is sanctions”

Historically, sanctions are never effective as leverage against a target government, they are always “effective” against the people of a nation that is struggling to resist the machinations of U.S neo-colonialism. Sanctions are economic terrorism, designed to increase the pressure on those most affected by war and the associated poverty and homelessness. They amount to abject cruelty, compounding an already desperate situation brought about by the military adventurism of globalist nations.

So, Rapp alongside Cadman, has a clear intention to criminalise the Syrian government and to weaken the Syrian nation in preparation for a U.S-friendly regime change operation.

As Peter Ford has remarked – the latest attempt to prosecute President Assad and members of the Syrian government in the ICC is another element in the long running and insidious economic war that has been waged alongside the (failed) miliary campaign to destabilise Syria:

“Having failed in attempted regime change via miltant proxies Syria’s enemies are now embarked on an enterprise to secure the same result by waging economic war which must be justified by constant demonizing of Assad. That is the game being played here.”

Rodney Dixon – Qatar – Rwanda – Former Yugoslavia

Rodney Dixon, lawyer acting for Temple Garden Chambers.

Rodney Dixon is lawyer acting for Temple Garden Chambers who have also submitted a case against President Assad and the Syrian government at the ICC. According to his biography at Legal 500, Dixon appears to have had a long career protecting NATO interests, including:

He has prosecuted and defended before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) including as defence counsel on behalf of the former Prime Minister of Kosovo in protracted trial, appellate and retrial proceedings. He acted on behalf of the government of Rwanda before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Christopher Black interpreted this career path as follows:

“So Dixon acted for mass muderer and KLA leader, Hashim Thaci, in a staged trial the ICTY, arranged so that Thaci could be charged but aquitted-a game to give the ICTY some credibility. Thaci is a NATO asset. Dixon also acted as agent for mass murderer Paul Kagame the dictator of Rwanda put in power by the US, UK, Canada etc. and was his agent at the Rwanda tribunal (ICTR) which framed all the accused there as scapegoats for the crimes of Kagame and his western allies.

So, Dixon has been used by the NATO powers to protect their interests and that is his role in the scheme regarding Syria. Looking back on events, if he was at the ICTR in 2007 then he may have been behind the Rwandan government’s demand to have me arrested during my defence of General Nindiliyimana (Chief of Staff, Rwanda Gendarmerie, acquitted on all counts in 2014) when I demanded Kagame be charged with war crimes.”

Dixon has a history of working for Qatari clients. In 2017 Dixon represented three prominent Qatari nationals – who were unlawfully detained and tortured in the UAE between 2013 and 2015 by UAE security officials. In 2018, Dixon chaired a panel of experts calling for an end to the blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE. The event was organised by the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK and was held at University College, London.

Qatar has been one of the primary financiers of the terrorist forces that have invaded and occupied areas of Syria during the eight year conflict. The Caesar report was commissioned by London law firm, Carter-Ruck on contract to Qatar. Guy Martin, a specialist in sanctions in international law and partner at Carter Ruck Solicitors was also speaking on the panel protesting the sanctions against Qatar, chaired by Dixon.

According to French investigative journalist, Thierry Meyssan, Dixon had already declared an interest in pursuing the Syrian goverment for alleged war crimes, based upon the Carter Ruck-orchestrated Caesar Report:

“Mr. Dixon had already declared that he intended to pursue the Syrian leaders for « crimes against humanity ». He based his case on the Caesar Report; a document made public by Qatar, via the London cabinet Carter-Ruck, on 20 January 2014, two days before the peace negotiations of Geneva 2.”

The only conclusion to be drawn after examining the origins and motives of the cases being brought against President Assad at the ICC – is that the driver behind them is not international justice but regime change which is the ultimate goal of the U.S alliance in Syria. This renders any “humanitarian” outrage expressed by the legal entities involved nothing more than hollow rhetoric, a marketing ploy to elicit sympathy for the further persecution of a nation that has refused to submit to an unprecedented level of military pressure by terrorist proxy.

Expert opinions

I asked John Laughland how this case, if accepted by the ICC, reflects the nature and state of “international justice” in our world today. Laughland replied:

“International justice  is political justice. Typically, heads of state are judged by international courts for acts of state. They are never judged as actual perpetrators and therefore the acts adjudicated are state acts for which they have state responsibility. The trials are therefore not criminal trials in the proper sense of the word because state acts cannot be compared to private crimes, as they often are by the ideologues of international justice.  I have explained this at length in the final chapter of the second edition of my book, “A History of Political Trials from Charles I to Charles Taylor” (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016).

Much of what I have been warning about for over a decade has now been proved true. For instance, Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Ivory Coast, was the subject of a political indictment in 2011, the same year as Gaddafi, and this indictment was used to get him out of his home country (just as Charles Taylor was removed from Liberia for explicitly political reasons – again, see my book).  Yet earlier this year, more than eight years later, he was found innocent and released. A court which imprisons and innocent man for eight years should be immediately closed down.”

Like Ford, Laughland argued that if the case is accepted “the re-integration of Syria into the international or regional system will be impeded. Some states will back off from building bridges with Damascus” – another example of the weaponisation of “international justice” to punish an independent nation for protecting its interests and refusing to comply with U.S demands for ultimate control over their internal and external affairs.

Laughland did not believe that Syria could succeed with a positive engagement with the ICC, he believes that Damascus should ignore any proceedings at the ICC, “especially as they would be clearly illegal under international law”. Laughland cited the case of President Al-Bashir of Sudan:

“Ignoring the ICC was what President Al-Bashir of Sudan has done, and it has worked very well. Other states have ignored the warrant against him too, notably South Africa, which refused to arrest him on a visit there. This is one of the reasons why the ICC is in such spectacular crisis.”

Christopher Black also referred to the case of Laurent Gbagbo:

“If the prosecutor accepted the case on clearly trumped up evidence as it did with regard to President Gbagbo of Ivory Coast then it would confirm once again that the ICC is not an organ of international justice but a propaganda organ of US and British and EU imperialism.”

Black also concurred that there would be negative implications for President Assad and the Syrian government should the case be accepted by the ICC:

“President Assad can expect that he will be labeled in the western mass media as a war criminal in a mass propaganda campaign, and that this propaganda will bombard the Syrian people to undermine the Syrian government. To try to overcome that I suggest the formation of an international committee for his defence as we formed for President Milosevic to include not only international lawyers who support Syria but also artists, intellectuals, poets, etc who can try to counter this propaganda because Syrian denials will just be dismissed.”

Dr Marcus Papadopoulos had a more optimistic viewpoint:

“From the time I began giving television interviews on Syria, beginning in 2011, I have said that most Syrians, either actively or passively, support President Assad. And I hold the view that even more Syrians support their leader today. There are numerous factors in accounting for the Syrian people’s support of their president, and a key one is that Mr Assad guarantees Syria’s traditional status as a secular, multi-confessional country.

In light of their support, together with how they repelled Western, Turkish, Israeli and Saudi aggression, I do not believe that the Syrian people will pay any notice to what happens at the ICC regarding President Assad.  Indeed, I know that Syrians are asking – demanding, in fact – for Barack Obama, Erdogan and Mohammad bin Salman to be tried for crimes against Syrian civilians and Syrian prisoners of war by Islamist terrorists, such as the so-called Free Syrian Army, who all three leaders were supporting in Syria.”

Papadopoulos drew parallels between the politically motivated case against former Yugoslav leader, President Slobadan Milosevic and the threat of an equally politically motivated case against President Assad and members of the Syrian government:

“There are most certainly precedents, most notably the unfounded and politically-motivated case against President Slobodan Milosevic. That case against the former Yugoslav leader laid the foundation for what may very well transpire at the ICC against President Assad. But, Mr Milosevic faced Western aggression on his own, at a time when Russia was incapable of finding fuel for its tanks so that they could parade on Red Square. Conversely, Mr Assad faced Western aggression with Russia by his side, with Moscow capable of finding fuel for its aircraft so that they could fly all the way to Syria and take part in the fight against Wahhabi terrorism there.

So if the ICC does indict the Syrian president, it will not alter the reality on the ground in Syria – namely, that the Syrian people have prevailed over the hordes of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Turning to whether the ICC will proceed to hear the case against President Assad, this probably will happen. But consider this: America, Britain, France, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are keen to start doing business with Syria again.  In light of that, dropping the case against President Assad might be in the interests of the aforementioned countries.”

Conclusions – the U.S is riding roughshod over international justice

In April 2019, President Trump and the U.S administration revoked the visa of the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda. The U.S warned that they would take action against anyone from the ICC who dared to investigate allegations of war crimes levied against U.S personnel in Afghanistan.

Ironically the U.S claimed its citizens and military personnel are outside the ICC’s jurisdiction – the ICC claims that Afghanistan is within its purview because the country had ratified the Rome Statute which established the court in 2003. A prime example of the perversion of “international justice” to serve the powerful global hegemons.

Shortly after, Israeli media reported that Trump had decreed that Israel should be exempt from prosecution at the ICC. One exceptionalist nation protecting another while both are guilty of violations of international law, human rights law and have committed a catalogue of war crimes and violated UN resolutions throughout their history. The United States and Israel are effectively exploiting the ICC without any intention of recognising its jurisdiction in relation to their own transparent criminality.

So, while the U.S legal machinery is determined to crush the Syrian government under the weight of its global tyranny, the same entity will not entertain any investigation into its bloody record of military interference abroad nor will it permit any legal pursuance of its allies for the human rights crimes they are persistently committing. This renders the entire concept of “international justice” a travesty and nothing more than a rogue state protectionist racket.

The campaign to prosecute President Assad at the ICC is a misdirection away from the real criminals in the UK/U.S Coalition who have violated every related element of international law in their campaign to destabilise Syria and the region. Without international law we are living in a world of the utmost insecurity where the most powerful can denigrate human rights in their surge to dominance and resource plundering at will from weaker and less supported nations.

The case against Syria at the ICC is the weaponisation of “international justice” to pressurise a militarily undefeated nation into submitting to and complying with U.S geopolitical doctrine. This process will benefit those within the interventionist alliance whose goal is regime change in Syria, it will not benefit the more rational political players who do, perhaps, accept that working with President Assad is the only way to re-establish bilateral economic relations with Syria.

As always, this is all about propaganda and the mobilisation of bias and not about “justice”. It is a colossal act of misdirection. Those countries and individuals who have armed, financed and promoted the terrorist extremism and savagery that has ravaged Syria and her people for eight years should be in the dock.

While the ICC is effectively controlled by the US/UK criminal ruling classes, there will be no true “international justice” only the facade of justice meted out against nations that are deliberately deprived of the opportunity to defend themselves.

May 29, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Major international victory’: Trump cheers ICC decision not to probe US atrocities

RT | April 12, 2019

After the International Criminal Court (ICC) declined to investigate claims of US atrocities in Afghanistan, US President Donald Trump cheered the decision but said the ICC was “illegitimate” and US and allies beyond its reach.

“This is a major international victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law,” the White House said in a statement, referring to the ICC decision to reject the request to investigate the actions of US military and intelligence officials in Afghanistan.

The US “holds American citizens to the highest legal and ethical standards,” and has consistently refused to join the ICC because of its “broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers,” threats to US sovereignty, and “and other deficiencies that render it illegitimate,” Trump said in a statement.

“Any attempt to target American, Israeli, or allied personnel for prosecution will be met with a swift and vigorous response.”

Last week, Washington canceled the entry visa of ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, saying that anyone who dared investigate US military or intelligence personnel would face the same fate. The Gambian lawyer had been conducting a preliminary investigation into claims of torture, cruelty and sexual assault by US and allied personnel in Afghanistan, dating to 2003-2004.

Bensouda had found a “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan,” and was reportedly planning to open a formal investigation.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Bensouda last month to “change course” or face US sanctions, however, declaring that the US was determined to protect its troops and civilians from “living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation.”

While Washington has pushed for the creation of ad-hoc international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR), the US voted against the establishment of the ICC in 1998, and has refused to join or submit to its authority after the court was officially created in 2002.

The US has held itself above international law for decades. In 1986, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that Washington had violated international law by supporting the Contras in Nicaragua. The US refused to participate in the proceedings and blocked the enforcement of the judgment in the UN Security Council.

What makes the pressure on ICC different than in the past, UK journalist Neil Clark told RT recently, is that “interference and attacks are now in the open,” whereas in the past they would be confined to back channels and low-key intrigue.

“You know, it’s the empire with its mask off,” said Clark.

April 12, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

US denies visa to ICC chief prosecutor, unhappy with her probing American war crimes in Afghanistan

RT | April 5, 2019

Washington has annulled the entry visa of Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, after the State Department vowed to shield Americans from “unjust prosecutions” of possible war crimes in Afghanistan.

“We can confirm that the US authorities have revoked the prosecutor’s visa for entry into the US,” Bensouda’s office told Reuters in an email. However, the move should not restrict her travels to the UN headquarters in New York City.

Less than a month ago, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear that the US would not allow Americans to live in “fear of unjust prosecutions” just because thousands of citizens were sent to “defend” their country on the other side of the globe, some 7,000 miles away.

“If you’re 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 that you will be permitted to enter the United States,” he warned in mid-March.

Over the last two years, the Gambian lawyer has been probing US-led war crimes in Afghanistan but has not yet opened a formal investigation into alleged atrocities conducted over the last 18 years. For now, the preliminary inquiry remains in Pre-Trial Chamber, even though Bensouda found a “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan.”

Only the American military system can judge the servicemen, Pompeo said, warning the ICC to drop their inquiry. “We are prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions, if the ICC does not change course,” Pompeo warned.

The ICC is investigating alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by various parties in the protracted conflict, including US forces, as detailed in a 2016 report. The part concerning unidentified members of the US military and intelligence relates to dozens of cases in 2003-2004, and alleged crimes like torture, cruel treatment, and sexual assault.

The ICC says those crimes may have been committed in furtherance of US policy in the freshly occupied country, rather than a set of individual unrelated atrocities. In light of this, Washington’s resistance to the probe may be more than a sign of principled rejection of any international authority over US nationals.

US courts have not been very forthcoming in prosecuting Americans for such crimes. A notable exception is the case of retired US Army Ranger turned CIA civilian contractor David Passaro. Over two nights in 2003, he tortured to death an Afghan man named Abdul Wali, who turned himself in after being accused of taking part in a rocket attack on a US base.

Passaro was sentenced to serve eight years and four months in prison, and later said he was a scapegoat for the US government, which wanted to show the public that it was holding the CIA accountable in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Read more:

International court judge resigns, citing ‘shocking’ interference from ‘above the law’ US

 

April 5, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Attempt to prosecute Assad at ICC is aimed at undermining Syrian peace process

Historian John Laughland explains why the International Criminal Court’s attempt to indict President Assad of Syria reveals its dictatorial and warmongering tendencies.

RT | March 18, 2019

The announcement that “a group of Syrian refugees and their London lawyers” have found “a neat legal trick” to press for an indictment against Syrian President Bashar Assad by the International Criminal Court demonstrates, yet again, the dangerous corruption of international justice, against which I have been warning for over a decade.

The Syrian war is nearly over, thanks to the military successes of the Syrian army and its Russian and Iranian allies. Exhaustion on both sides has probably helped. Diplomatic overtures have started to re-integrate Syria into the international system, starting at the regional level: the United Arab Emirates have re-opened their embassy in Damascus; the Sudanese president, Assad’s near namesake, Omar Al-Bashir, has visited Syria, as have senior Egyptian officials; Syrian officials have attended pan-Arab summits; even Israel is maintaining its dialogue with Russia over Syria. In short, the situation is being slowly normalised as Syria herself embarks on the painful search for internal peace.

The attempt to get Assad prosecuted is an attempt to stamp out these seedlings of peace before they take root. Any prosecution against Assad would scupper, or at least severely damage, this slow acceptance that the Syrian president is part of the solution. When even the British government has accepted that Assad is here to stay, and that peace must be made with him, his implacable enemies fear that their prize is about to slip out of their grasp. They do not want peace, if that means keeping Assad.

We know that the goal is to sabotage any peace process because this kind of indictment is old hat in international criminal law. At the end of the Bosnian Civil War in 1995, indictments were issued against the Bosnian Serb leaders, especially Radovan Karadzic, specifically in order to remove them from the Dayton peace talks. Antonio Cassese, then president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, said in 1995, just after the indictment was issued against Karadzic, that it had been issued for that reason: “The indictment means that these gentlemen will not be able to participate in peace negotiations” (quoted in the Italian daily L’Unità, 26 July 1995). Incidentally, Cassese had himself encouraged the prosecutor to bring these prosecutions even though he, as a judge and president of the tribunal, was supposed to be neutral.

The “legal trick” is designed to overcome the fact that Syria is not a state party to the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court and therefore not subject to its jurisdiction. Assad’s enemies are seeking to sidestep the fact that Syria is beyond the ICC’s reach by seeking to apply to Syria a principle which, unfortunately, the ICC itself applied to Burma last year. In September, the ICC judges agreed that a case could be brought against Myanmar (Burma), even though that country is not a state party to the Rome statute, because the crimes it had allegedly committed – deportation – had caused people to flee into Bangladesh, which is a state party. By analogy, Syria’s enemies hope that the presence of Syrian refugees in Jordan, a state party to the ICC statute, will enable them to go after Assad. They seem not to care that this is the first time anyone has ever mentioned “deportation” in Syria, although Damascus has been accused of all manner of other crimes.

The ruling on Myanmar and Bangladesh illustrates everything that is wrong with international justice. Not only did the decision to apply jurisdiction to the Burmese authorities break the fundamental principles of international law, as expressed in the “treaty on treaties,” the 1969 Vienna Convention, which says that the principle of free consent is “universally recognized” and whose Article 34 says, “A treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third state without its consent,” it also broke an even more fundamental principle by specifically claiming the right to define its own powers (referred to, in English texts, with the French and German expressions la compétence de la compétence and Kompetenz-Kompetenz). The Court described this as “a well-established principle of international law according to which any international tribunal has the power to determine the extent of its own jurisdiction.” In reality, it is no such thing.

On the contrary, the powers of all organisations are determined by law. Even sovereign governments are restricted by national laws in their powers. The idea that an international organisation has the legal right to determine its own powers, and to extend its jurisdiction to states that have not accepted it, is about as blatant a violation of the rule of law as one can imagine. In the past, such claims were equivalent to declarations of war, because a claim like this can only be settled by force. For example, on July 23 1914, Austria demanded the right for its police to carry out investigations inside Serbia for the assassination of the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 29. It sent an ultimatum to Belgrade to this effect, which Serbia refused. The result was the First World War, launched by Vienna in the name of the right to punish the perpetrators of that crime.

The ICC has already discredited itself massively after the Laurent Gbagbo fiasco. Having collaborated in the politically-motivated indictment of the president of Côte d’Ivoire in 2011 – a collaboration which gave legitimacy to the French military operation to oust him, just as it gave legitimacy to the NATO attack on Libya by also indicting Colonel Gaddafi at the same time – the Court was forced to acquit Laurent Gbagbo eight years later, in January of this year.

By seeking to extend its lamentable rule to Syria, and thereby to disrupt a barely embryonic peace there, the ICC risks destroying its reputation even further. For the rules limiting the jurisdiction of international organisations to states which have consented to accept them are not some arcane technicality of international law. Instead, they reflect the most basic principle of politics, which is that those who wield power need to be constitutionally linked to those over whom they wield it. International organisations which are not based on such consent violate that very basic principle flagrantly, and therefore start to resemble the very dictatorships they pretend to combat.

John Laughland, who has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oxford and who has taught at universities in Paris and Rome, is a historian and specialist in international affairs.

Read more:

‘Mask is off’: US shifts to open coercion & manipulation against ICC, analysts tell RT

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

US Threatens Anyone Behind ICC Probe Into Its Staff With Visa Restrictions

Sputnik – 15.03.2019

The US is determined not to issue visas to individuals who are behind any the International Criminal Court investigation of US personnel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.

The new visa restrictions will not terminate Washington’s previous measures, and new economic sanctions may follow if the International Criminal Court (ICC) fails to change its course, Pompeo said during the briefing.

“I’m announcing a policy of US visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of US personnel,” Pompeo said. “This includes persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation. These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis.”

The remark comes after Pompeo issued the warning after announcing that the US would impose visa restrictions on individuals linked to the ICC’s prospective investigation into alleged war crimes committed by US personnel in Afghanistan.

March 15, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

The International Criminal Complicity

On Intimidation, Cowardice & Corruption (at the International Criminal Court)

“Drill and uniforms impose an architecture on the crowd. An army’s beautiful. But that’s not all; it panders to lower instincts than the aesthetic. The spectacle of human beings reduced to automatism satisfies the lust for power. Looking at mechanized slaves, one fancies oneself a master” -Aldous Huxley

By Ronald Thomas West | February 22, 2019

The United Nations is an experiment in democracy founded on the Western principles of international law. Angela Merkel’s conflating globalism with multilateralism (these are NOT the same thing) notwithstanding, the United Nations is a global body established by multilateral treaties. This does not establish ‘globalism’ but serves as a platform for facilitating relationships between sovereign nations. The International Criminal Court is an example of this, where the ‘Rome Statute’ (the multilateral treaty establishing the court) had been ‘midwifed’ from within the UN but created a court (the ICC) that is ostensibly independent. However the UN Security Council may refer cases to the ICC, the UN has no authority over the court and no power to extend or curtail the courts jurisdiction, which is solely over those nations which had opted to enter into the treaty (Rome Statute) creating the court.

However, if the institutions of the United Nations are notoriously politicized and corrupt, and they most certainly are [1] it follows the UN’s closely aligned institutions might be expected to show similar symptoms.

We have recently seen these symptoms (read on) but it should be noted the ICC had been undermined from its inception, particularly by the USA in what appears on its face to have been a geo-strategic policy of fraudulent engagement of the Rome Statute process. In short, the USA participated in the setting up of the court but used its considerable influence to prevent the court adopting a principle of universal jurisdiction. With the court at its formation limited to jurisdiction over nations entering into the Rome Statute treaty, the USA would appear to have disingenuously joined the court (signed on) but never seriously pursued ratification (the legal necessity of a democratic nation’s parliamentary body affirming the state executive signature) and therefor never came under the court’s jurisdiction.

What had been created is a social oxymoron in actuality; a core body of nations (Europe, EU & NATO nations, particularly) determined never to self-prosecute but to use the prosecutorial vehicle provided by the Rome Statute as post-colonial geopolitical device aimed at African states in ongoing state of neocolonialism. Consequently the court has seen to the prosecutions of politicians from Congo, Kenya, Sudan and Ivory Coast but not the French role in Rwanda’s genocide or Paul Kagame, a USA darling:

“He’s [Kagame] actually gotten a free ride from the ICC despite all the evidence of his army creating, sponsoring militias in Congo since 2002. Militias sponsored by Kagame’s troops have plundered, killed civilians and recruited child soldiers in the Congo yet Kagame and his commanders have not been indicted by the ICC” [2], [3], [4]

Relevant to the French immunity (impunity), this raises a question concerning whether European states signatory to the Rome Statute, that is a “coalition of the willing” should have been liable for what amounts to a ‘crime against humanity’, or an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 dead civilians having resulted due to infrastructure destruction (e.g. disease via water contamination), when Iraq had been invaded despite the invading states’ leaders (notably Tony Blair) knowing that invasion’s premise was false. Are the EU & NATO states’ accountability waived by the ICC?

It hardly seems a ‘crime of aggression’ need be adopted to hold states responsible for their acts where existing statutory law should be adequate.

This brings us to a recent case filed by this reporter which points to corruption. For the purpose of defining corruption in the case at hand, identified by the court’s filing reference ICC OTP-CR-295/18 [5] it is asserted (by this reporter) any case of acquiesce in the face of intimidation is a form of corruption, where cases are shelved as opposed to pursued in good faith. A recent example of this is demonstrated in the resignation of an ICC judge citing two instances where the ICC had been subject to threats or subverted. [6]

In the first instance, Turkey arrested an ICC judge with Turk nationality under the pretext of ties to Gulen, an excuse often used by the current Salafi leadership of Turkey to rid itself of principled Sufi members of Turkey’s civil service. [7] The UN Secretary General, rather than confront Turkey with a principled stance no UN member state will unilaterally set precedent with the removal of ICC judges, allowed the precedent to stand.

The other instance causing his resignation (mentioned by Judge Flugge) is the well publicized (policy) threats against the ICC by USA National Security Advisor, John Bolton, in his speech to the Federalist Society. [8]

According to Christopher Black, a longtime barrister working the several international tribunals, including the ICC, the USA plays strongly:

“First of all through key personnel they have placed in the ICC, for example the prosecutors, some judges who are willing to do what they want…

“A judge in my case was threatened by Americans working there that if certain passages in the judgement acquitting the general I was defending were not removed he would face physical problems. This is the type of gangsterism they use to get their way in these tribunals”

Also specific to the USA, at a separate tribunal, according to Black:

“Not only was a judge in my case at the Rwanda tribunal pressured but I myself was threatened by the CIA while I was there to stop raising questions and presenting evidence they [the US side] did not like” [9]

The preceding suggests Turkey may have arrested the judge with Turkish nationality as a quid pro quo on behalf of a 3rd party to dispense with a judge perceived as a threat. In any case it’s clear the ICC is compromised.

Bearing the preceding in mind, in the case filed by this reporter, to begin it should be noted it was the ICC itself that invited my filing, when the Office of the Prosecutor had responded, on 3 July 2018, to a letter I’d emailed to a German international law attorney on, 30 June 2018, copied to the ICC.

In both the letter and the complaint a clear line of evidence had been provided pointing to Turkey had (false-flag attack, in league with al Qaida) arranged the indiscriminate murder of well over 1,000 civilians at Ghouta, Syria in August of 2013. According to a Turkish parliamentarian, Eren Erdem, citing Turkish state produced investigative files in his possession, the chemicals used to produce the Sarin gas in this attack had been sourced in Europe. Turkish MP Erdem is on record stating:

“All basic materials are purchased from Europe. Western institutions should question themselves about these relations. Western sources know very well who carried out the sarin gas attack in Syria. They know these people, they know who these people are working with, they know that these people are working for Al-Qaeda. [What] I think is Westerns are hypocrites about the situation”

In this regard it is noted the court’s Office of the Prosecutor takes on the responsibility of assembling evidence:

“At the ICC, most evidence is collected and secured by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP)” [10]

In the present case (ICC OTP-CR-295/18) the filing party (Ronald Thomas West) had assembled ample evidence to justify initiating a preliminary investigation that should have triggered the court looking into whether there had been the associated crime of ‘aiding and abetting’ committed within ICC jurisdiction. To bolster this, the case had been made an additional, associated crime of aiding and abetting had been demonstrated where German intelligence had misinformed German politicians of the facts actually surrounding the Ghouta sarin attack, so far as to blame Assad.

This last (immediate preceding) would not necessarily constitute a prosecutable crime (depending on what the judges might be inclined to believe on a given day) but there is more. This reporter had provided the necessary evidence to the concerned politicians correcting the record; indisputable evidence Turkey’s intelligence agency was providing sarin to al-Qaida militants within a timeline consistent with the Ghouta attack. [11]

This evidence submitted to the German executive (office of the Federal Prosecutor) and oversight (parliamentary leadership of all parties represented in the federal parliament) was never acted on; the German political establishment closed ranks across the political spectrum to deny the government of Syria honest assessment of the Ghouta attack. The false-flag crime accordingly sustained as a successful political ploy in regime change endeavors by EU and NATO states where those very states have become complicit in aiding and abetting a war crime with the act of material concealment of the actual perpetrators identity (a NATO state.) [12]

The German politicians (and related institutions) had been provided with the evidence on 2 December 2015. By the time this (very same) evidence had been provided to the ICC in a formalized complaint on 4 July 2018, thirty one months had passed without action by the Germans, satisfying the requirement Germany should have had opportunity to redress the wrong.

On 6 February 2019, one week after the resignation of Judge Christoph Flugge, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor replied to this reporter with:

“The Office of the Prosecutor has examined your communication and has determined that more detailed information would be required in order to proceed with an analysis of whether the allegations could fall within the jurisdiction of the Court. The Prosecutor has determined that, in the absence of such information, there is not a basis at this time to proceed with further analysis”

Essentially what the ICC has done is, to shelve the case with a demand this reporter who’d made the filing (at their invitation) provide information beyond simple and clear evidence aiding and abetting of a war crime is ongoing by a state within the jurisdiction of the court. This general, non-specific language, in the common vernacular, are called ‘weasel words.’

Why? Clearly the ramifications of adopting the practice of prosecuting the politicians empowering false flag geopolitical engineering by intelligence agencies is frightening and no doubt opposed by politician & spy alike.

Were the ICC to proceed in this case (whether it were a successful prosecution or acquittal), not only would it likely topple Angela Merkel, but it likely brings into reach Davis Cameron and his spy chief Alex Younger, also Francois Hollande and his spy chief Bernard Bajolet… and so on.

In the case of Germany, there is a safe assumption: There will be no prosecution of these crimes due to a German constitutional loophole larger than the Brandenberg Gate … “for the good of the state.” Because at the end of the day, it is (a commonly used German expression) “just not possible” to rock the boat with Turkey or cross the USA.

Why the International Criminal Court matters (in the present moment) has little to do with justice and much to do with exposing the corruption of foundational principles across the spectrum of international institutions.

*

The ICC had been provided a nearly identical draft of this (preceding) with opportunity to comment. [13] Prior to releasing this for initial publication at the Ft Russ news website, two weeks have passed and no reply has been forthcoming. The ICC also declined to clarify the nature of “more detailed information [that] would be required” and has remained silent on my asking whether the German authorities had been contacted with request for information and if so, the nature of any reply.

Noteworthy is the ICC does not deny the “allegations” (the evidence is too strong) nor does the ICC altogether dismiss the possibility of jurisdiction (they have jurisdiction over complicit parties within the EU, only are either intimidated and afraid or too corrupted to exercise it, probably a combination) rather finds a ‘weasel words’ excuse to shelve a case that would call out the hypocrisy of the European signatories to the Rome Statute based on the criminality of the EU/NATO intelligence agencies.

The net result is, as of this moment the false-flag sarin attack at Ghouta, Syria (and murder of well over 1,000 innocents) during the month of August 2013 remains a successful sleight-of-hand attack blamed on the wrong party and the crime of aiding and abetting the perpetrators, it could be argued, extends to the International Criminal Court itself, in case where refusal to correct the public record protects the guilty parties. I would describe this as ‘international criminal complicity’ when a UN associated judicial body becomes aware of an easily rectified element of a major war crime, as simple as recognizing an evidence based false-flag, and instead chooses to sit on its hands.

The pity of it all is, if there were courage to pursue jurisdiction over those complicit parties within the Rome Statute’s signatory states, a precedent would be established perhaps leading (over time) to further precedent where anyone complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity could be arrested when stepping on any Rome Statute nation’s soil and progress made in realizing accountability.

Ronald’s Maxim

In any democracy, ethics, self restraint, tolerance and honesty will always take a second seat to narcissism, avarice, bigotry & persecution, if only because people who play by the rules in any democracy are at a disadvantage to those who easily subvert the rules to their own advantage

References:

[1] http://www.innercitypress.com/index.html

[2] http://www.therwandan.com/the-icc-has-given-africas-most-prolific-genocidaire-a-free-ride/

[3] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41283362

[4] https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/rwanda-paul-kagame-americas-darling-tyrant-103963

[5] https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/07/03/western-intelligence-agencies-the-international-criminal-court/

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jan/28/international-criminal-court-icc-judge-christoph-flugge-quits-citing-political-interference-trump-administration-turkey

[7] https://www.dw.com/en/from-ally-to-scapegoat-fethullah-gulen-the-man-behind-the-myth/a-37055485

[8] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/full-text-john-bolton-speech-federalist-society-180910172828633.html

[9] https://www.rt.com/news/450611-us-icc-manipulation-experts/

[10] https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-642-35076-4_4.pdf

[11] https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/04/15/what-can-be-known-vs-what-will-be-known/

[12] https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/10/12/a-breaking-point-in-geopolitical-torsion/

[13] copy of this post & relevant questions requesting information were sent to the ICC on 9 February 2019

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

International court judge resigns, citing ‘shocking’ interference from ‘above the law’ US

RT | January 30, 2019

A senior judge has resigned from the UN International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, after the United States threatened judges investigating alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan.

The judge, Christoph Flügge, has worked with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) since 2008. More recently, he got involved with preliminary investigations into claims that US military service members and CIA operatives tortured prisoners in Afghanistan.

Flügge told German newspaper Zeit that he handed in his resignation after open threats from US officials, including a speech by hawkish national security adviser John Bolton last September, where Bolton “wished death” on the Court.

“If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the US or investigate an American citizen, he said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States – and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted,” Flügge told Zeit, in an interview translated by The Guardian.

“The American security adviser held his speech at a time when The Hague was planning preliminary investigations into American soldiers who had been accused of torturing people in Afghanistan,” Flügge explained. “The American threats against international judges clearly show the new political climate. It is shocking. I had never heard such a threat.”

Bolton’s speech was delivered in September to the conservative Federalist Society in Washington, DC. It came a year after the ICC began investigating claims that at least 61 detained persons in Afghanistan had been tortured by American troops and another 27 by the CIA at secret prisons in Afghanistan and abroad, according to prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

Bolton called the investigation “utterly unfounded” and “unjustifiable,” and promised to “protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.”

The senior US official also vowed to defend Israeli citizens from the court. US “friend and ally” Israel was at the time accused of perpetrating war crimes against Palestinian civilians. He warned that the US would disregard arrest warrants, ban judges and prosecutors from entering the country, and even try them in American courts.

Flügge said his colleagues were “stunned” that “the US would roll out such heavy artillery,” but added “it is consistent with the new American line: ‘We are No 1 and we stand above the law’.”

American disregard for the ICC is not a new phenomenon. After much debate, President Bill Clinton signed the Rome Treaty that established the International Criminal Court, but the Congress never ratified it. Clinton’s successor George W. Bush symbolically ‘un-signed’ the treaty in 2002, when the war in Afghanistan was in full swing.

Later that year, the Congress passed the American Service Members’ Protection Act, which obliged the president to prevent any ICC prosecution of US armed forces “to the maximum extent possible,” and even authorized military force to free any US service members from ICC custody. Bolton, incidentally, was Bush’s under-secretary of state at the time.

The court has come under fire from more countries than just the US. Russia withdrew its signature from the Rome Treaty in 2016, after the court criticized the reunification of Crimea. China, India, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are among the other nations that never signed the treaty.

January 30, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

DPRK Is Still Being Persecuted For “Violating Human Rights”

By Konstantin Asmolov – New Eastern Outlook – 20.12.2018

The ties between South and North Koreas are becoming closer and there are fewer tensions in the relationship between DPRK and the USA. That often makes us forget that, though it was rather the Democrats’ strategy to pick on North Korea for violating human rights, the pressure on Pyongyang for this reason has merely become less blatant.

For example, on 23 October 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in DPRK, Tomás Ojea Quintana, announced that over the past year many changes had taken place on the Korean Peninsula, but the situation with human rights in DPRK remained the same. He referred to testimonies, made by defectors from North Korea, when he said that ordinary North Korean inhabitants were starving and had no access to medical services due to lack of money. During his speech he even showed a padlock, which had been given to him as a gift by a teenage defector from North Korea, and said that specifically the United Nations had the key to improving the human rights situation in DPRK.

On 15 November, the UN General Assembly Third Committee on human rights, humanitarian affairs and social matters unanimously (without a vote) approved yet another resolution, put forward by Japan and the European Union, condemning DPRK for violating human rights. The UN has been adopting such resolutions since 2005, and the latest resolution happens to be the 14th one. And just as the resolutions approved earlier, it condemns DPRK for constant, systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the north of the Korean Peninsula. It demands, among other things, that all labor camps be immediately closed, all prisoners freed, and all parties, responsible for violating human rights, be held responsible. The authors of the document urge for the situation in DPRK to be resolved in the International Criminal Court; for the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to be brought to justice, and for concrete measures to be taken on this issue, with due consideration to be given to the conclusions reached by the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate violations of human rights in DPRK (as it turns out the notorious 2014 report was, for the most part, based on false testimonies).

In reality, no serious changes were made to the document, which, according to South Korean media sources, lends evidence to the idea that no progress has been made to resolve human rights issues in North Korea, and does not illustrate the fact that such resolutions are produced regardless of the reality on the ground in North Korea. Still, the UN Committee on humanitarian affairs “has welcomed” Pyongyang’s attempts to normalize diplomatic relations with the international community and to abide by the inter-Korean agreements on families split up by the conflict.

In response, North Korea’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Kim Song, stated that discussions about human rights violations in DPRK were out of the question, and that the international community was meddling in internal affairs of a sovereign nation. China, Russia, Syria, Myanmar and other countries also did not support the resolution, but they did not demand for its approval to be put to a vote. They did not do so because the international community cannot demand that Pyongyang abide by its conditions, and the pressure applied by the resolution on North Korea is not great enough to start a confrontation over it. DPRK media outlets also called the resolution a thinly veiled campaign to tarnish North Korea’s reputation, and stated that the step taken by the UN was aimed at halting the current trend towards better dialogue and peace.

In November 2018, Moon Jong In, a special advisor to the South Korean President on issues connected with diplomacy and unification, advised the DPRK leader to start focusing on human rights issues, and to better still close labor camps. In his opinion, any rhetoric voiced by Kim Jong-un on human rights issues can substantially help Pyongyang gain more trust from the international community. Quoting the statement made by Moon Jong In, Amnesty International estimated (it would be interesting to know how) that there are more than 130,000 political prisoners in North Korea. And on 31 October 2018, experts from the international organization Human Rights Watch published an 86-page report, entitled “You Cry at Night but Don’t Know Why: Sexual Violence against Women in North Korea”, which stated that North Korean officials used the lawless rape of women as a mechanism of repression. We will dedicate a separate article to the analysis of this report, as it is a good example of how broad interpretations of the meaning of the word “rape”, and inaccurate information selection help transform DPRK into an analogue of those African nations where mass rape is actually part of repression means, used by authorities.

On 26 November, the main DPRK newspaper commented on the Human Rights Watch report and the repeated allusions to this issue, by noting that the USA had been using these mind games in order to gain concessions from DPRK in negotiations and to destabilize the North Korean regime. The paper also reported that, currently in the US, it is being asserted that the stumbling block in the relationship between the USA and DPRK is the nuclear issue. But once this issue is resolved to the benefit of Washington, the US will use the human rights violation issue or another reason to apply pressure on DPRK to change its regime.

On 27 November, the international news agency France-Presse announced that Washington approached the UN Security Council with a request to hold a meeting on the human rights issues in North Korea on 10 December. Such meetings have taken place since 2014, and despite objections from Beijing, the request has already received support from 9 nation-participants, which is essential for its approval.

DPRK’s Ambassador to the United Nations once again expressed regret at the fact that the UN Security Council followed orders from Washington blindly, and highlighted that the decision would not have a favorable effect on the outcomes of diplomatic negotiations between the international community and Pyongyang.

Along with international sanctions, imposed in response to the violations, unilateral ones are also being used. Hence, on 29 November, in order to reinforce the fight against human trafficking, Donald Trump signed an executive order to ban provision of non-humanitarian and non-trade financial assistance to a number of countries in year 2019. Eighteen countries were placed in this banned list, which includes DPRK, China, Iran, South Sudan, Eritrea, Venezuela and even the Russian Federation. They were included, because their local authorities failed to make enough effort to combat human trafficking, and these restrictions will remain in place until the nations take decisive action. Trump appealed to the International Monetary Fund and development banks to not offer credit lines to the previously mentioned nations.

Every year, the USA publishes a report on human trafficking, and every time DPRK, for 16 years in a row now, is listed as a nation which actively engages in human trafficking. Since 2003, the country has received the lowest rating, which means that it is actively involved in human trafficking within its borders, and that local authorities take no measures to resolve this issue. In the case of DPRK, “slave trade” usually refers to the fate of North Korean defectors to China, who end up in inhumane conditions on account of the efforts made by the so-called “brokers” that are often protected by South Korean NGOs.

As the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in DPRK, Tomás Ojea Quintana, stated, the United Nations would embrace closer ties between the two Koreas, but human rights violations were impossible to ignore. The author urges the readers to remember this statement and also recall it when answering the question “Will DPRK be left alone after it (let us say this is possible) fulfills the denuclearization requirements?” After all, in one possible scenario any mistake on North Korea’s part is presented as deplorable, but in another, as an unfortunate incident, which is easily forgotten. It is probably not worth explaining what the reaction of the international community would have been if the diplomatic mission where a dissident was dismembered had been a North Korean and not a Saudi one.

Konstantin Asmolov, PhD in History, Leading Research Fellow at the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

December 20, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel Attorney General: ‘No Palestinian state’ so ICJ illegitimate

MEMO | November 27, 2018

Israel’s Attorney General is drafting a legal opinion which will declare the International Court of Justice (ICJ) illegitimate on the grounds that there is “no Palestinian state”.

Avichai Mandelblit said yesterday that he was drafting the judgment to refute the ICJ’s legitimacy to rule on the Israel-Palestine conflict, claiming that there is no Palestinian state and citing the fact that Israel is not a member of the court.

Speaking to students at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, Mandelblit explained: “I intend to issue an opinion soon, according to which the International Court of Justice in The Hague has no authority to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because there is no Palestinian state,” Arutz Sheva reported.

Israel has consistently rejected efforts by the ICJ and its counterpart, the International Criminal Court (ICC), to investigate its human rights record. In this, Israel has received the support of its main ally – the USA – with National Security Adviser John Bolton saying in September that the institution is “dead to [us]”. Bolton continued: “The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.”

The ICC was quick to respond to the US’ threats, saying: “As a court of law, [the ICC] will continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law.” The ICC added that it is an independent and impartial institution with the backing of 123 countries.

Israel’s opposition to the ICJ and ICC has become more vehement in the wake of Palestine’s appeals to the court. In January 2015 the Palestinian Authority (PA) signed the Rome Statute of the ICC, officially accepting the court’s jurisdiction over its territories and allowing a preliminary investigation into the situation in Palestine to be opened.

In May 2018, the PA specifically requested that the ICC investigate crimes committed within its territories, with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki meeting ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to discuss the issue. The request called on The Hague to investigate the forcible transfer of Palestinians, unlawful killings, illegal appropriation of land and property, demolition of Palestinian properties, repression of dissent through the unlawful killing of peaceful protesters and the policy of mass arbitrary detention and torture.

Since then the PA has called on the ICC to investigate a number of incidents. In June, the PA asked the court to prosecute Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan for incitement after he called for Palestinians allegedly flying incendiary kites to be assassinated. In September, the PA called for an investigation into Israel’s planned demolition of the Palestinian village of Khan Al-Ahmar, which the ICC said could constitute a war crime. In October, the PA asked the ICC to investigate Israel’s escalation of illegal settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Thus far neither the ICJ nor the ICC have prosecuted Israel for its actions.

November 27, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

John Bolton versus the International Criminal Court: A Simple Solution

By Thomas L. Knapp | William Lloyd Garrison Center | September 11, 2018

In a September 10 speech to the Federalist Society, National Security Advisor John Bolton offered “a major announcement on US policy toward the International Criminal Court.” The US government, per Bolton, considers the court “fundamentally illegitimate. … We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC.”

Bolton threatened sanctions against the court and those who resort to it or cooperate with it in investigations of war crimes involving the United States or Israel. He also announced the first such sanction, closure of a Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington in retaliation for the state of Palestine’s referral of charges against Israel for actions in the West Bank and Gaza.

What’s with this sudden interest in the court and its jurisdiction?

Why is Bolton suddenly so concerned with protecting notions of “sovereignty” (he uses the word nine times) that the US government itself routinely ignores at its convenience, claiming global jurisdiction over individuals and organizations outside its own borders in matters ranging from the 17-year “war on terror” to its financial regulation and sanctions schemes?

The answer, in a word: Afghanistan. The regime installed by the US after its 2001 invasion of that country, and maintained in power by the US since then, ratified the Rome Statute in 2003. Crimes committed in Afghanistan since then, regardless of the perpetrators’ nationalities, therefore fall under the ICC’s jurisdiction.

Bolton finds it unconscionable that an American — in particular an American soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, or politician — accused of crimes committed in Afghanistan might be tried in a court Afghanistan’s government has duly accepted the authority of. So much for “sovereignty.”

Bolton wants it both ways. On one hand, the long arm of US law must reach everywhere, be it to a bank in Switzerland, to a hacker’s keyboard in the United Kingdom, or to a battlefield in the Middle East. On the other hand, no foreign arm of law must ever reach a US citizen, regardless of the alleged crime or where it was committed.

Pretty messed up, but there’s a simple solution. All the US government has to do is close its embassies and consulates in, withdraw its troops from, and advise its citizens not to travel to, any of the 120-odd countries which recognize the International Criminal Court as their judicial authority for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

Starting with Afghanistan.

Problem solved.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org).

September 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments

International Criminal Court unfazed by US threats of sanctions over Afghan war crimes probe

RT | September 11, 2018

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said it will “continue to do its work undeterred,” after US National Security Advisor John Bolton threatened sanctions if the tribunal investigates alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan.

The Hague-based court investigates genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes and is backed by 123 countries – but not by China and the US.

“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,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The tribunal’s remarks came in response to a scathing verbal attack launched by Bolton in Washington DC on Monday during a speech to the conservative Federalist Society.

“Today, on the eve of September 11th, I want to deliver a clear and unambiguous message on behalf of the president,” Bolton began, before launching into the blistering offensive against the ICC.

“The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court. We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to 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.”

Bolton then issued a very clear threat: If the international court continues to pursue the probe, Washington will ban ICC judges from entering the country, prosecute them and sanction their funding. His main objection is the notion that the ICC could have higher authority than the US constitution and US sovereignty.

“In secular terms we don’t recognize any higher authority than the US constitution,” he said, adding that Trump “will not allow American citizens to be prosecuted by foreign bureaucrats, and he will not allow other nations to dictate our means of self defence.”

In November 2017, an ICC prosecutor requested approval to launch a probe into potential war crimes by the US armed forces and the CIA through the torture of detainees in Afghanistan.

However, Bolton didn’t come out swinging solely on the behalf of the US – he also attacked the ICC’s threat to Washington’s “friend and ally” Israel, as the Middle Eastern country faces an investigation into alleged war crimes against Palestinians.

Bolton said the probe into the actions of Israel, which he described as a “liberal, democratic nation,” was unacceptable, and added that any countries supporting the investigation and cooperating with the ICC would be subject to secondary sanctions.

September 11, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment