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Mandelblit says ICC’s Israel investigation undermines legitimacy of court

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Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit condemned on Wednesday the decision of the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel and the Palestinians, saying it undermined the legitimacy of the court.

“The choice by the chief prosecutor to open an investigation against the State of Israel, a democratic, law-abiding nation, harms the legitimacy of the court’s work,” said Mandelblit.

However, Mandelblit said that Israeli legal officials were watching the case closely and were “ready to deal with any possible developments in the court.”

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Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced her decision earlier Wednesday, saying that: “The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the situation since 13 June 2014, the date to which reference is made in the referral of the situation to my office.” Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda waits for former Congo vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba to enter the court room of the International Criminal Court to stand trial with Aime Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidele Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido, on charges including corruptly influencing witnesses by giving them money and instructions to provide false testimony, and presenting false evidence, in The Hague, Netherlands, September 29, 2015. (AP/Peter Dejong)

Mandelnblit reiterated that Israel and several other nations have argued that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the case as Israel is not a member and Palestine is not a state.


© The Times of Israel

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