U.S. Continues Bush Policy of Opposing ICC Prosecutions

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It has been widely documented that many of the worst atrocities on behalf of Libyan leader Moammar Gadaffi have been committed by foreign mercenaries from countries such as Algeria, Ethiopia and Tunisia. Despite that, the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions Resolution aimed at Libya, which was just enacted last week, includes a strange clause that specifically forbids international war crimes prosecutions against mercenaries from nations which are not signatories to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which protects many of the mercenaries Gadaffi is using. Section 6 of the Resolution states that the Security Council:

Decides that nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State;

Why would a clause be inserted to expressly protect war crimes-committing mercenaries on Gadaffi’s payroll from international prosecutions? Because, as The Telegraph’s John Swaine reports, the Obama administration insisted on its inclusion – as an absolutely non-negotiable demand – due to a fear that its exclusion might render Bush officials (or, ultimately, even Obama officials) subject to war crimes prosecutions at the ICC on the same theory that would be used to hold Libya’s mercenaries accountable…

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