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7 More Countries Agree to Exempt US Citizens from Int'l Criminal Court - 2003-11-02

The United States has announced agreements with seven more countries that exempt American citizens from prosecution by the International Criminal Court.

Antigua and Barbuda, Bostwana, East Timor, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda are the latest to sign a promise not to hand over U.S. citizens indicted by the court. In return, Washington lifted military sanctions it had imposed on those governments.

The White House announced the agreements Saturday in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi, where President Bush made a campaign appearance. It also said Romania has been given a six-month extension to sign an agreement.

The United States opposes the International Criminal Court because it fears the court could become a forum for politically motivated trials of U.S. soldiers and other citizens stationed overseas. The accord grants them immunity from the court.

Washington is seeking bilateral immunity deals around the globe, and has cut off military aid to countries that refuse to sign the accord.