ICC Judges Reject Opening of an Investigation Regarding Afghanistan Situation

4/16/2019

Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has unanimously rejected the request of the prosecutor to proceed with an investigation for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Afghanistan since May 1, 2003, as well as similar crimes related to the armed conflict allegedly committed in the territory of other states party to the Rome Statute since July 1, 2002.

The chamber acknowledged that potential cases would be admissible before the court. However, it cited the time elapsed since the opening of the preliminary examination in 2006 and the changing political scene in Afghanistan since then, as well as the lack of cooperation that the prosecutor has received, as issues that could hamper the chances of a successful investigation and prosecution.

The chamber also highlighted the need for the ICC to prioritize actions that would have better chances of success. Thus, the chamber’s three judges concluded that an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice and rejected the prosecutor's request for authorization to investigate.

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