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World

AFP
February 10, 2018

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Duterte says he cannot be tried by war crimes court

Duterte says he cannot be tried by war crimes court

DAVAO, Philippines: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday declared himself beyond the jurisdiction of an International Criminal Court probe into thousands of deaths in his "drugs war", claiming local laws do not specifically ban extrajudicial killings.

In a typically bombastic speech on Friday, a day after the ICC announced a preliminary inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity, Duterte renewed an earlier threat to withdraw the country from the world’s sole war crimes tribunal.

Duterte, who has overseen the bloody anti-drug crackdown since taking power in 2016, acknowledged that a previous Manila government ratified the treaty that established the ICC, but claimed it had not passed into local law because of a technicality.

"There is no fucking provision of extrajudicial killing. It is not defined anywhere so how can you now accuse me of a crime," said Duterte, speaking in his home city of Davao. Police said they have killed nearly 4,000 drug suspects dead in the narcotics crackdown, while rights groups claim the toll is around three times the numbers given by authorities.

The outspoken Philippine leader, who is accused of stoking the killings with inflammatory statements, took issue over the Philippines becoming the first southeast Asian nation put under a preliminary examination by the ICC prosecutor.

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