US Says ICC Investigation Not "Warranted Or Appropriate"

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - The US on Tuesday said an investigation by the International ...

Alliance News | 16 November, 2016 | 6:31AM

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - The US on Tuesday said an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into possible war crimes committed by US troops in Afghanistan was not "warranted or appropriate."

The US has its own "system of accountability" and "we hold ourselves to the highest possible standard," US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said.

Trudeau noted that the US was not a signatory to the ICC and "not subject to ICC jurisdiction."

"We have extensively examined our own activities. In many cases people were held accountable," she said.

On Monday ICC prosecutors said there was a "reasonable basis" to believe that US forces have carried out war crimes, including torture, in Afghanistan.

US armed forces "appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity," ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in her initial report.

The report also said a further 27 people were tortured by the CIA, with the majority of the alleged crimes said to have taken place between 2003 and 2004.

The US never ratified the ICC's founding treaty but as the alleged abuses were committed in Afghanistan, as well as Poland, Lithuania and Romania, which are all parties, the court has jurisdiction.

Monday's report claimed the crimes were not isolated, but were part of "approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract "actionable intelligence" from detainees."

The court, which was established in 2002 to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, said it would decide "imminently" whether to commence a full investigation.

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