KABUL: A delegation led by the Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar left for the Hague, The Netherlands, to hold talks with the International Criminal Court prosecutor, a MoFA statement said yesterday.
Justice Minister Fazil Ahmad Manawi, Acting Attorney General Zabihullah Kalim, and a number of senior government officials and judiciary and security experts will accompany Minister Atmar, according to the statement.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) operates under the Rome Statute, and Afghanistan has been a member of the Tribunal since 2003. The International Criminal Court shall use its complementary jurisdiction to assist the Member States in dealing with international crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, the statement further said.
According to MoFA, the ICC seeks to exercise its jurisdiction to pursue investigation and prosecution when and if member States lack the will or ability to address such crimes.
“Based on the principle of complementarity jurisdiction and at the request of war victims and human rights organizations, the ICC has gathered complaints on alleged commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity over the last years of imposed war in Afghanistan, and demands practical and direct investigation thereof,” the statement added.
In accordance with its international obligations, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has already submitted its performance report to the Tribunal on investigating and prosecuting all relevant cases, and intends during this visit to furnish further assurances to the ICC on Afghanistan’s willingness and action plan to address the alleged international crimes, the statement added.
In order to address crimes committed in the country following Afghanistan’s accession to the ICC and to prevent such crimes from happening in the future, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will seek assistance and support from the Office of the ICC Prosecutor. The request [for assistance] will be made based on the principle of the country’s judicial independence and provisions of the Rome Statute.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan seeks to strengthen the existing peace process and ensure immediate and permanent ceasefire, by securing ICC’s cooperation with Afghanistan’s judiciary organs in addressing crimes and preventing them from happening in the future. To this end, the two sides will discuss the mechanisms for deferral of investigations to the Afghan judiciary organs, and establishing technical and capacity building cooperation.
The Kabul Times