U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the United States would impose sanctions on senior officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their investigations into U.S. persons.
Pompeo said that the United States would designate ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko, the head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division of ICC, as "the ICC continues to target Americans."
"Individuals and entities that continue to materially support those individuals risk exposure to sanctions as well," he said, adding that the U.S. Department of State had restricted visas for individuals involved in the ICC efforts to investigate U.S. personnel.
Pompeo said that Washington has not ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC and "will not tolerate its illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction."
The ICC in March authorized an investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan, including those that may have been committed by the U.S. military and the CIA, which could lead to the indictment of U.S. military and intelligence personnel.
U.S. President Donald Trump in June authorized economic sanctions against ICC officials engaged in an investigation into U.S. personnel, which drew opposition from the international community and some of U.S. allies.
The ICC was established when the Rome Statute took effect in 2002. It prosecutes crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.