March 16, 2018 / 11:00 AM / a year ago

Global court regrets Philippine decision to leave

FILE PHOTO: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announces the disbandment of police operations against illegal drugs at the Malacanang palace in Manila, Philippines early January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Ezra Acayan/File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The president of the International Criminal Court’s member assembly said on Friday he regretted an announcement by the Philippines that it intends to withdraw from the court.

O-Gon Kwon of South Korea encouraged the country to remain a member and “engage in dialogue” rather than withdrawing, which he said would hurt the court’s efforts to punish war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte this week announced his intention to withdraw from the court because he believed prosecutors were treating him unfairly.

There is no investigation against Duterte, though ICC prosecutors are conducting a “preliminary examination”, or review, of his government’s war on drugs, in which thousands of alleged dealers have been killed.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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