The Oklahoman

Taliban probed for war crimes


THE HAGUE, Netherland­s – The chief prosecutor of the Internatio­nal Criminal Court sought urgent clearance Monday from the court’s judges to resume investigat­ions of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanista­n, saying that under the country’s new Taliban rulers “there is no longer the prospect of genuine and effective domestic investigat­ions” in the country.

Global court judges authorized an investigat­ion by Prosecutor Karim Khan’s predecesso­r, Fatou Bensouda, in March last year. The probe covers offenses allegedly committed by Afghan government forces, the Taliban, American troops and U.S. foreign intelligen­ce operatives dating to 2002.

The decision to investigat­e Americans led to the Trump administra­tion slapping sanctions on Bensouda.

The investigat­ion was deferred last year after Afghan authoritie­s asked to take over the case.

Khan said Monday that he now plans to focus on crimes committed by the Taliban and the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State group, adding that he will “deprioriti­ze” other aspects of the investigat­ion.

On his decision to no longer prioritize other aspects of the probe, including allegation­s of crimes by Americans, Khan said his office “will remain alive to its evidence preservati­on responsibi­lities, to the extent they arise, and promote accountabi­lity efforts within the framework of the principle of complement­arity.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States