March 20, 2018 / 10:42 AM / 6 months ago

Inquiry into Philippines not impacted by ICC withdrawal - criminal court

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The withdrawal of the Philippines from the International Criminal Court will not impact an inquiry by prosecutors into killings related to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs, the court said in a statement on Tuesday.

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

The court said it had been notified by the United Nations that the Philippines formally initiated on March 17 the process to withdraw from the court. It will take one year for the move to become effective.

“A withdrawal has no impact on on-going proceedings or any matter which was already under consideration by the court prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective,” the court said in a statement.

Duterte said last week that the Philippines would pull out of the international treaty creating the court, saying 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 Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Catherine Evans

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