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Trump targets ICC

Chris Hamblin, Editor, London, 12 June 2020

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Functionaries at the International Criminal Court - and the HNWs who are related to them or who help them in their enquiries - are now potential targets of US sanctions, President Trump having tired of the court's prosecutor investigating crimes allegedly committed by US military, intelligence and other personnel in Afghanistan without the consent of the United States.

The latest presidential executive order says that the ICC's investigations threaten to subject current and former US Government and allied officials to harassment, abuse and possible arrest.

The order states: "In 2002, the United States Congress enacted the American Service-Members’ Protection Act which rejected the ICC’s overbroad, non-consensual assertions of jurisdiction. The ICC and parties to the Rome Statute must respect the decisions of the United States not to subject their personnel to the ICC’s jurisdiction, consistent with their respective sovereign prerogatives."

Section 1 states that all property in the United States of people listed by the Secretary of State are to be blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in. No list of people was issued with the executive order, but the US Government will eventually name various non-Americans who have directly engaged in any effort by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any United States personnel without the consent of the United States or any personnel of a country that is an ally of the United States without the consent of that country’s government.

This includes any listed person who has materially helped, sponsored or provided financial, material or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any of the aforementioned activities or to any person whose property and interests in property are blocked in accordance with the order. This opens the door to very wide sanctions that might entrap HNWs all over the world who have given ICC prosecutors useful - or even slightly useful - information or even who have helped sanctioned loved ones.

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