December 9th, local time, the International Criminal Court headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, announced that it would stop investigating war crimes committed by British soldiers in Iraq during the Iraq war. However, the report issued by the International Criminal Court pointed out that they have sufficient evidence that the British army in Iraq did commit many war crimes and atrocities in Iraq that year.
It is understood that the suspension of the investigation by the International Criminal Court does not mean that the incident will not be held accountable, but that the relevant investigation actions will be transferred to the British side for continuation.
According to a report released by the International Criminal Court, British soldiers in Iraq committed war crimes, including premeditated murder, against at least seven Iraqi detainees in 2003. Investigators also found “credible allegations” of British soldiers suspected of torture and rape of Iraqi civilians.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatu Bensouda, said that she believed that British troops in Iraq were responsible for these atrocities, and the International Criminal Court believed that “the British government would take real action to investigate these crimes”, so the International Criminal Court and her office stopped continuing investigations into the matter.
It is understood that the International Criminal Court can intervene only if the State concerned does not take investigative action. In June this year, independent British investigators investigating the war crimes of British troops in Iraq revealed to the media that of the thousands of war crimes charges against British soldiers they investigated, all but one of them were successfully opened.
The United States, Europe and other countries have been trying to obstruct the investigation of such cases by the International Criminal Court. In June this year, several officials of the International Criminal Court, including Fatu Bensuda, were sanctioned by the United States government for investigating the suspected war crimes committed by the U.S. military in Afghanistan.