The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking a formal investigation into alleged war crimes against the United States, Afghanistan and the Taliban for its conduct in Afghanistan following the 9/11 terror attacks.
In a statement chief prosecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda said: “there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed.
“In due course, I will file my request for judicial authorisation to open an investigation, submitting that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan.”
Miss Bensouda has asked the International Criminal Court’s judges for permission to open the formal investigation.
If that request is approved, it would mark the first time US nationals could be held criminally accountable for alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan.
Despite the USA not being a member of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda will be able to investigate the allegations as Afghanistan is, and the court’s jurisdiction covers crimes committed on any member state’s territory regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator.
The ICC prior to 2016 has drawn criticism, often being labelled a court with a pro Western bias as they had only investigated crimes in Africa.
Since 2016 the ICC have launched investigations in other parts of the world, including Iraq, Greece, Cambodia, Ukraine and Columbia.