The Pentagon is preventing the Biden administration from sharing American intelligence agencies’ evidence about Russian atrocities in Ukraine with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The evidence reportedly includes details of the abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children by Russian officials from occupied territory, as well as decisions to target civilian infrastructure.
While the rest of the administration, including intelligence agencies and the State and Justice Departments, wants to give the evidence to the ICC, military leaders oppose it. They fear that assisting the court could set a precedent that might lead to the prosecution of Americans.
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, confirmed the dispute’s parameters and blamed the Defense Department’s reluctance. “D.O.D. opposed the legislative change — it passed overwhelmingly — and they are now trying to undermine the letter and spirit of the law,” Graham said. “It seems to me that D.O.D. is the problem child here, and the sooner we can get the information into the hands of the I.C.C., the better off the world will be.”
Despite lawmakers passing two laws in December designed to assist with “investigations and prosecutions of foreign nationals related to the situation in Ukraine,” the Pentagon still maintains that the United States should not help the ICC investigate Russians for their actions in Ukraine since Russia is not a party to the treaty that established the court.
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