ICC prosecutor slams ‘attempts to intimidate’ court over possible arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials

File - Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, addresses a UN Security Council meeting on July 13, 2023, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
File - Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, addresses a UN Security Council meeting on July 13, 2023, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The office of the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor issues a strong statement against reports that Jerusalem has threatened retaliatory measures if the court issues arrest warrants against top Israeli officials.

“The office seeks to engage constructively with all stakeholders whenever such dialogue is consistent with its mandate under the Rome Statute to act independently and impartially,” ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan says in a statement.

“That independence and impartiality are undermined, however, when individuals threaten to retaliate… should the office, in fulfillment of its mandate, make decisions about investigations or cases falling within its jurisdiction,” he adds, demanding that “all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence its officials cease immediately.”

The statement follows a report from the Axios news site earlier this morning that a group of Republican and Democratic senators held a virtual meeting with top ICC officials this week, in an attempt to dissuade the court from ordering arrest warrants against senior Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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