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Bosnia-Herzegovina: Sarajevo Ratifies Agreement Exempting U.S. From ICC

Sarajevo, 27 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Bosnia-Herzegovina today ratified an agreement that exempts Americans from prosecution by the newly established International Criminal Court (ICC). Bosnia first signed the agreement last month, promising not to extradite U.S. troops and other Americans charged with genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes.

The agreement was then presented to Bosnia's two parliaments, which adopted it earlier this month. Spokesman Zeljana Zovko today said Bosnia's multiethnic presidency has signed the final ratification.

Nearly 40 other nations have signed similar agreements. The United States opposes the tribunal and wants immunity for its citizens, saying it fears Americans could face politically motivated or biased prosecutions.

The court, inaugurated in March, is charged with intervening only when a country is unable or lacks the political will to carry out a trial. It was signed by 78 nations and is charged with prosecuting crimes committed after 1 July 2002.