Middle East

ICC prosecutor threatened: Court 'built for Africa and thugs like Putin'

Karim Khan says 'senior figure' told him ICC was 'built for Africa and for thugs like Putin,' and not for the West and its allies

Necva Tastan  | 21.05.2024 - Update : 21.05.2024
ICC prosecutor threatened: Court 'built for Africa and thugs like Putin'


The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor said he received threats while conducting investigations against top Israeli officials with a senior figure telling him the court was "built for Africa and for thugs like Putin," and not for the West and its allies.

In an interview with CNN, Karim Khan said: "I've had some elected leaders speak to me and they were very blunt. 'This court is built for Africa and for thugs like Putin,' was what one senior leader told me."

"We don't do it like that," he said, adding: "This court should be the triumph of law, over power and brute force: grab what you can take what you want, do what you will."

The ICC is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant along with Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh and Mohamed Deif.

The charges against Netanyahu and Gallant include "causing extermination, using starvation as a method of war by denying humanitarian relief supplies, and deliberately targeting civilians in conflict," he added.

The charges against Sinwar, Haniyeh, and Deif include “extermination, murder, taking of hostages, rape, and sexual assault in detention," Khan told CNN

“Nobody is above the law,” he said.

He suggested that if Israel disagrees with the ICC, "they are free to challenge the jurisdiction before the court judges, and that's my advice to them."

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the enclave.

More than 35,500 Palestinians have since been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and over 79,600 others injured since last October following a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas. The Hamas attack left nearly 1,200 killed and hundreds others were taken hostage.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which has ordered it to ensure that its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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