US to Consider EU International Court Exemption Deal.

European Union foreign ministers have agreed on a formula designed to end a row over demands by the United States that its citizens be exempted from being tried for war crimes by the new International Criminal Court (ICC).

The BBC reports the Bush administration has argued that US citizens must be protected from hostile governments prosecuting them for political reasons.

Announcing the compromise, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said the EU had agreed on what he called "red lines," or strict conditions, for any future immunity deals with the United States.

There would be no impunity, he said.

Washington would have to guarantee that any Americans suspected of war crimes would be tried at home.

The agreements would not be reciprocal, so the ICC would not exempt Europeans from prosecution.

And crucially, only US troops or officials specifically sent abroad would be granted immunity.

Diplomats say that would not include mercenaries or retired officials.

The US will now consider the EU proposal.

Source: ABC News Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) - 01Oct02

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This document has been published on 04Oct02 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights