Spanish – The U.S. government announced sanctions against the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, who not only objected to the investigation of U.S. soldiers for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan but also blocked investigations against the tyranny of Nicolás Maduro.
The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, declared that any person or entity that collaborates with the official investigating possible war crimes in Afghanistan would also be subject to the measures of the U.S. government. The measure includes visa restrictions and freezing of assets in the United States.
“Individuals and entities that continue to materially support” the prosecutor in such investigations “would risk exposure to sanctions as well,” Pompeo said.
Earlier in June, President Donald Trump had given the green light for actions, such as travel restrictions, against members of the court.
In an executive order, the president warned that he would block the property and assets under U.S. jurisdiction of any member of the court based in the Hague, involved in the investigation or prosecution of U.S. troops.
Since it began operating in 2002, the International Criminal Court has generated expenditures in excess of 1.5 billion USD, and in that long period, it has prosecuted only four African criminals and none in Latin America.
Former Venezuelan deputy Walter Márquez has reiterated that the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, “is morally disqualified and should be legally disqualified” from investigating the complaints that reach the court against Nicolás Maduro.
The former deputy accuses the prosecutor of negligence and a serious breach of her duties for not opening an investigation against the Venezuelan regime even though “more than 110 complaints have been formalized,” he said.
Marquez’s second complaint against the jurist is based on testimonies gathered by the Gambia Truth Commission, as two of its witnesses have pointed to her as allegedly responsible for human rights violations during her time as the African country’s attorney general and minister of justice, between 1998 and 2000.
Who is Fatou Bensouda?
Fatou Bom Bensouda is a lawyer from The Gambia. She has served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice in the Republic of Gambia. She has served as Deputy Prosecutor in charge of the Division of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court since 2004, and since June 2012, she is the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, a position she will hold until June 2021.
Everyone, including former ICC president Silvia Fernandez de Guemendi, former prosecutor Luis Moero Ocampo, and chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, is entangled in corruption.
A report published by the ICN newspaper revealed that Fernández got her position in the International Tribunal thanks to former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner, currently charged with crimes in Argentina, and a great “friend” of the socialism of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro.
Additionally, the credibility of Bensouda is dubious. She was the right-hand of prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo and had to be aware of everything he was doing. It was later revealed that Moreno was receiving money and had secret accounts in tax havens.
During his time at the court, the Argentine lawyer could not be involved in “any activity that could interfere with his prosecution function or affect confidence in his independence.” However, documents revealed by Spain’s El Mundo newspaper maintain that Moreno Ocampo acted against the interests of the court by defending Libyan oil magnate Hassan Tatanaki.
The lawyer reportedly used his personal network in the organization for the benefit of his client and jeopardized the confidentiality of the court’s investigations.
We should not pin our hopes on the Venezuelan case because the court has permitted the presence of Haifa El Aissami, the sister of vice president Tarek El Aissami, who, in turn, is accused of drug trafficking by the United States.
Haifa El Aissami is Maduro’s ambassador to the ICC, and she also makes “special contributions” to the international organization’s budget. She remains there to pressure and ensure that investigations against the Venezuelan regime do not advance. She is very close to the sanctioned prosecutor.
In January 2018, a delegation from the Maduro regime, led by the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Maikel Moreno, held a meeting in the Hague with Bensouda.