Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Nov. 27, 2013
FILE - Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Nov. 27, 2013.

WASHINGTON - The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions against the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda.    

The 59-year-old Bensouda, a Gambian national, had angered the Trump administration by opening an investigation into crimes allegedly committed by American soldiers in Afghanistan.    

During a briefing Wednesday at the State Department, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions against Bensouda, adding that any individual or entity who materially assisted her also would be subject to sanctions.    

In June, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order authorizing sanctions against “officials, employees and agents, as well as members of their immediate families” working at the ICC.    

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump responds to questions from members of the news media during a news conference at the White House in Washington, Aug. 31, 2020.

“These attacks constitute an escalation and an unacceptable attempt to interfere with the rule of law and the court's judicial proceedings,” Bensouda told VOA in an interview later in June.

“An attack on the ICC also represents an attack against the interests of victims of atrocity crimes, for many of whom the ICC represents the last hope for justice,”   she said.

FILE - Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, is seen in a courtroom of the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands, July 8, 2019.
Facing US Sanctions, ICC Prosecutor Pledges to Continue 'Without Fear or Favor'
President Donald Trump authorized sanctions against the court, which is probing suspected war crimes by US troops in Afghanistan

Bensouda’s name has been added to the list of sanctioned individuals, the U.S. Treasury Department noted in a Wednesday release. 

VOA French to Africa Service and Salem Solomon contributed to this report.