UK, Japan, Italy, and Costa Rica call out Russia for targeting ICC judges

8 August, 03:29 PM
International Criminal Court (Photo:Wikipedia)

International Criminal Court (Photo:Wikipedia)

The UK, Costa Rica, Italy, and Japan have expressed their deep concern over the criminal procedure launched by Russia against the prosecutor and judges of theInternational Criminal Court (ICC) in a joint statement released on Aug. 7.

Russia is targeting ICC prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan, as well as the following judges: Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godínez, Rosario Salvatore Aitala, and Tomoko Akane.

"It is regrettable that Russia continues its attempt to undermine the mandate of the court, and we reiterate our unwavering commitment to stand firmly by the court, its officials and personnel, as well as those cooperating with it, together with other state parties," the statement reads.

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The ICC is fully trusted by the aforementioned parties as “an independent and impartial court of law" which means to protect the values and principles of the Rome Statute, "preserving the court’s integrity undeterred by any threats."

Russia put the ICC prosecutor Khan on its "wanted persons list" on May 19 in apparent revenge for the international court's arrest warrant for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

The ICC expressed its deep concerns over "unreasonable and unjustified coercive measures" taken against ICC officials by the Russian authorities.

Khan had previously emphasized that the ICC possesses clear evidence that Putin bears criminal responsibility for the deportation of Ukrainian children from occupied Ukrainian territories starting from Feb. 24, 2022.

Russia put Akane on the "wanted list" on July 27 after he issued an arrest warrant for Putin and Russia’s children’s ombudsperson, Maria Lvova-Belova on March 17.

The Kremlin dictator can be arrested on the territory of 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute, said President Judge of the ICC Piotr Hofmanski.

Russia signed the Rome statute, which governs the ICC, in 2000. Puttin withdrew Russia from the treaty in 2016, years after his invasions of Ukraine and Georgia.

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