November 15, 2013
Over the past several weeks, there have been viral reports of "charges" brought to the International Criminal Court at the Hague in the Netherlands against US President Obama for "War Crimes" related to the Morsi Administration in Egypt; that Administration was overthrown by Military Operations within Egypt, for which the United States never declared officially if it was a Coup d'etat or not. If it was a Coup, then military and financial aid would cease to Egypt until a "legitimate" government could be put into place. If it was not a Coup, then a determination needed to be made as to who the "legitimate" leaders of Egypt were, and how exactly the United States would assist both financially and militarily. Those who followed those events this summer know that there was a heated debate in Congress and within the Administration as to whether this was a legitimate government overthrow in Egypt, or the uprising of the People of a Nation State taking back control of a rogue Government.
Now, months later, alleged charges have been brought to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague. It should be noted, that no research we have done to date shows any official charges pending, nor any hearing dates on the ICC Dockets related to this specific allegation. Therefore, the credibility of such reports are in question. None-the-less, it is not outside the scope of probability that some in Egypt are looking to the US Administration for some level of accountability regarding the treatment of the Egyptian people during the time of civil unrest in Egypt. The claims made are as follows (as taken directly from El Watan News- Egypt):
تقدم الدكتور نبيل مدحت سالم أستاذ القانون، ببلاغ إلى المحكمة الجنائية الدولية، عن نفسه وبصفته عضوا في نقابة المحامين المصرية، ضد الرئيس الأمريكى باراك أوباما وكل من محمد بديع المرشد العام لجماعة الإخوان ومحمد البلتاجي وعصام العريان وصفوت حجازي وعاصم عبدالماجد، وذلك لقيام أوباما بطريق الاتفاق والتحريض والمساعدة للعناصر المسلحة من جماعة الإخوان المسلمين في ارتكاب جرائم ضد الإنسانية في الفترة من 3/7/2013 حتى 18/8/2013 بجمهورية مصر العربية.
Translated (sic): Provided by Dr. Nabil Medhat Salem, Professor of Law, a complaint to the International Criminal Court, for himself and as a member of the Egyptian Bar Association, against U.S. President Barack Obama and all of Muhammad Badi leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed El-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian and Safwat Hijazi and Asim Abdalmagd, to do Obama accidentally agreement and incitement and assistance to the armed elements of the Muslim Brotherhood in the commission of crimes against humanity in the period from 03/07/2013 to 08/18/2013, the Arab Republic of Egypt.
To muddy the waters further, the United States is one of 7 countries who had initially signed the ICC treaty but never ratified it. In fact, it is one of 7 countries that voted down the authority of the ICC. Although still a signatory at the time of this writing, it is believed that the United States has no intention of remaining as a signatory to the ICC which further decreases the legitimacy of the court in the eyes of the United States. Other countries who have voted down the ICC authority are: China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar and Yemen.
Most of the issues heard before the ICC are those involving War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity as provided for in the Rome Statue following a UN General Assembly provision for an International Court for such matters. The ICC was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1998 although the final votes and guidelines on the Rome Statue (granting the Court Jurisdictional Authority for hearing such cases) were not voted on officially until 2002. The vote in favor of the ICC passed with a vote of 120-7; the seven countries dissenting listed above.
In 2005, the ICC issued its first "arrest warrant" and since that time, the Court has primarily heard cases arising out of Africa by and large. Given the United States' stance on the ICC as well as China and Israel, it is unclear how these alleged charges, if factual, will play out in the ICC. It is unlikely that any "arrest warrant" will be issued by the ICC if the charges are in fact heard in the Court, and it is more likely that this matter will be brought before the United Nations General Assembly rather than the ICC.
The ICC hears cases when Nation-States are either unwilling or unable to have a fair or impartial trial on crimes against humanity. In the case of the United States, the United Nations, of which the United States remains a permanent member and Permanent Security Council Member, will more than likely be the appropriate venue for such matters.
Therefore, given the lack of credible sources (only one Egyptian News source appears to be publishing these charges) as well as the incorrect venue for hearing said charges, it is our stance that this story may simply be Anti-American propaganda in certain Arabic circles. Over time, we will be able to tell if in fact these charges are legitimate, although we tend to doubt it as the charges against the President are being levied by a private Lawyer in Egypt vs. a Nation-State or Authorized Official from a Nation-State.
At this time, we must give little credibility to the claims, but will be following this closely.