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Duterte to withdraw Philippines from ICC for 'violations of due process'

14 March 2018 - 48   - 0

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will withdraw from the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Rome Statute, officials said on Wednesday, due to what he said were attacks by U.N. officials and violations of due process by the ICC.

The ICC on Feb. 8 started a preliminary examination of a complaint filed by a Philippine lawyer accusing Duterte and top officials of crimes against humanity committed during a war on drugs that has killed thousands of people.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed in a text message to reporters that the Philippines was withdrawing, as stated in a 15-page statement dated March 13 seen by reporters, which said the withdrawal was “effective immediately”.

The statement had not been signed by Duterte, but presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo confirmed it was authentic.

It said the withdrawal from the Rome Statue was due to the “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks on my person as well as against my administration” by U.N. officials, and what he said was an attempt by the ICC prosecutor to seek jurisdiction over him “in violation of due process and presumption of innocence”.

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