As Kabul ‘showed no interest’ in a domestic investigation, the International Criminal Court on Monday gave its chief prosecutor the go-ahead to continue an investigation into atrocities committed in Afghanistan.
Early in 2020, the now-deposed Afghan government requested that the Hague-based ICC halt its probe so that Kabul may conduct its own inquiries. However, the Afghan state, which had been supported for two decades by the United States and its allies, collapsed as a result of chaos in August of last year, and the Taliban took back control.
‘Judges considered that Afghanistan is not presently carrying out genuine investigations in a manner that would justify a deferral of the Court’s investigations,’ in a statement the ICC said.
The only permanent impartial war crimes court in the world stated that, ‘Afghanistan authorities are not showing an interest to pursue the deferral request it submitted on 26 March 2020.’
In September of last year, prosecutors requested permission from the judges of the court to continue their investigation. For its views, the request was sent ‘to the authorities currently representing Afghanistan.’ Prosecutors gave judges access to earlier files submitted by the former Kabul government ‘when no observations were received,’ according to the ICC.
On Monday, the judges made the contrary ruling, stating that, ‘the material transmitted by Afghanistan does not show that Afghanistan has investigated, or was investigating, in any manner… that would justify even a partial deferral of the Court’s investigations.’