ICC Prosecutor on GOP Threats of Sanctions, Ending Support: Those Are ‘Hotheads’, We’ve Had ‘Positive’ Work with Biden

Karim Khan, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, responded to the threats made by some Senate Republicans that they would end American support for ICC and sanction its employees and associates and ban them and their family members from the U.S. if the Republicans went after Israel, by stating “there are hotheads everywhere,” “but the good news is… for the past two and a half years, there has been a very positive engagement between the Biden Administration in the United States.”

Christiane Amanpour, the host, asked: “Recently when it was reported that this could happen at some point in time, U.S. Senators and U.S. Congresspeople, mostly Republicans wrote you a signed letter by Sen[s]. Tom Cotton (R – AR), Mitch McConnell – R- KY, Ted Cruz – R- TX, Marco Rubio – R- FL and others. Here is the quote: “Target Israel, and we’ll target you.” We will end American support for the ICC if you follow the recommendations in the report. We will also sanction your employees, associates and bar you from the United States. You have been warned. Is this a threat?”

Khan replied, “I believe that’s what it means in English.” There are hotheads and mature leaders everywhere. Some people are loyal to something bigger than themselves. It could be their constitutions or the rule of law. “The good news is that, over the past two and a half years, there has been a very positive relationship between the Biden Administration in the United States and us.”

He added, “We are working on a variety of situations, be it in Ukraine or Darfur. And I have told distinguished members of the Hill, and the administration, that the values of the Rome Statute are quintessential American Values. It is against bullying. It’s about the abuse of power by those who are most vulnerable. It’s about the rights of individuals, their dignity, and the protection of infants. These are American values which should be supported by both parties. This situation unfortunately lies on the San Andreas fault of international politics, and strategic interests. Obviously, I have had elected leaders talk to me, and they were very blunt. One senior leader told my that this court was built for Africa, and for thugs such as Putin. We don’t see it that way. Nuremberg left behind this court. This court is an indictment on humanity. This court should be a triumph of the law over brute force and power, grab whatever you can, take it all, and do whatever you like. We’re not going be deterred by threats, or other activities. Because, at the end of the day, we must fulfill our responsibility as prosecutors, judges, registry staff, and men and women in office. We won’t be intimidated by threats of all kinds, whether they are public or not.