The Guardian, Afua Hirsch Dec 17 2010
The international criminal court has proved one of the most controversial international institutions since its creation in 2002, drawing fire from some for its exclusive focus on Africa, and accused by others of pursuing the policy objectives of America and Europe.
But America has also been hostile to the court, refusing to join it for fear its own citizens could be put on trial for war crimes. The cables reveal American preoccupation with the personalities in the court and an attempt to discern their views on Iraq from the outset.
One cable, sent in July 2003, three months after Luis Moreno-Ocampo was elected as chief prosecutor, offered an “early glimpse” into his stance and reveals American unease about the possibility that he could pursue cases over British actions in Iraq.
“Less clear are [Ocampo’s] views on Iraq,” the cable states. “Ocampo has said that he was looking at the actions of British forces in Iraq — which … led a British ICTY prosecutor nearly to fall off his chair.”
“Privately, Ocampo has said that he wishes to dispose of Iraq issues (ie. Not to investigate them.)”
The cables also attempt to cast off early remarks about Iraq by Ocampo – who is from Argentina – as a language issue.