- Title: War crimes prosecutor would not focus on U.S. forces in new Afghan probe
- Date: 27th September 2021
- Summary: THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS (FILE - JUNE 12, 2020) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) ICC FLAG FLYING SIGN READING (English/French) "INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT"
- Embargoed: 11th October 2021 17:15
- Keywords: Afghanistan ICC Karim Khan U.S. forces investigation
- Location: KABUL AND KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN / UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION / THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
- City: KABUL AND KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN / UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION / THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
- Country: Netherlands
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Europe,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA001EWHWOCN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Monday (September 27) said he was seeking approval to resume a war crimes investigation into Afghanistan, focusing on the actions of the Taliban and the Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) militia.
A statement said the request was being made to the court's judges in light of developments since the Islamist Taliban movement seized control of Afghanistan in a lightning advance last month.
Prosecutors had previously also looked into suspected crimes by U.S. forces and Afghan government troops.
But Karim Khan, six months into his nine-year tenure, said they would now "deprioritise" that element due to lack of resources, and instead focus on "the scale and nature of crimes within the jurisdiction of the court".
Afghan human rights activist Horia Mosadiq, who has been helping victims to support the ICC probe for many years, called the announcement "an insult to thousands of other victims of crimes by Afghan government forces and U.S. and NATO forces".
The ICC had already spent 15 years looking into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan before opening a full investigation last year.
But that probe was put on hold by the Afghan government, which said it was investigating the crimes itself.
The Hague-based ICC is a court of last resort, intervening only when a member country is unable or unwilling to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.
Khan said the fall of the internationally recognised Afghan government and its replacement by the Taliban represented a "significant change of circumstances".
"After reviewing matters carefully, I have reached the conclusion that, at this time, there is no longer the prospect of genuine and effective domestic investigations ... within Afghanistan," his statement said.
(Production: Johnny Cotton)
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