The International Criminal Court has given the green light to an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan.
The decision is likely to put the court at odds with the Trump administration which has warned it won't cooperate with any investigation into the actions of its soldiers.
Last year, the Us Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would deny visas to any ICC staff seeking to investigate war crimes carried out by US forces.
ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who had called for the investigation, later confirmed that her US visa was revoked.
Last April, the ICC said it wouldn’t open the investigation because the US, Afghan authorities and the Taliban wouldn't cooperate.
This morning, Appeals Judge Piotr Hofmanski overruled that decision.
“The Appeals Chamber considers it appropriate to amend the appealed decision to the effect that the prosecutor is authorised to commence an investigation into alleged crimes committed on the territory of Afghanistan in the period since May 1st, 2003,” he said.
He said investigation should also cover “other alleged crimes that have a nexus to the armed conflict in Afghanistan” that were committed on other territories since July 2002.
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Human rights Watch said the decision “despite extreme pressure on the court’s independence reaffirms the court’s essential role for victims when all other doors to justice are closed.”