France calls on US to withdraw sanctions on world court

PARIS (AP) — France called on the United States (US) yesterday to withdraw sanctions levelled on top officials of the International Criminal Court, saying they are a “grave attack” on the court and put into question the independence of justice.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions on Wednesday against the chief prosecutor of the court, based in The Hague, and a top aide, for investigations into the US and its allies. The sanctions include a freeze on assets held in the US or subject to US law and target prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the court’s head of jurisdiction, Phakiso Mochochoko.

The court is, notably, investigating allegations of torture and other crimes by Americans in Afghanistan.