Mossad Chief Stalked, Threatened ICC Prosecutor Over War Crimes Probe: Report

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 01:20 AM

A new bombshell investigation undertaken jointly by the Guardian and +972 mag has revealed that the head of Mossad conducted surveillance on the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) related to her opening a formal investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes.

Then ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had opened the formal inquiry in 2021 to examine years of allegations of human rights abuse and war crimes against Palestinians committed by Israel's military. The joint investigation found that then Mossad director Yossi Cohen used tactics to monitor her that amounted to "stalking"

Yossi Cohen and Benjamin Netanyahu, Flash90

Bensouda at one point was reportedly directly threatened, with one eyewitness account saying that Cohen told Bensouda, "You should help us and let us take care of you. You don’t want to be getting into things that could compromise your security or that of your family."

It appeared to be a spy op ordered from the highest levels, in order to protect the Israeli government's international reputation and standing, as well as to oversee damage control. According to The Guardian report:

Another Israeli source briefed on the operation against Bensouda said the Mossad’s objective was to compromise the prosecutor or enlist her as someone who would cooperate with Israel’s demands.

A third source familiar with the operation said Cohen was acting as Netanyahu’s "unofficial messenger".

But the threats and tactics didn't work, given that Bensouda’s successor, Karim Khan, pushed through an ICC arrest warrant for the Israeli prime minister and his defense chief which came this month based on the investigation Bensouda set in motion.

According to a particularly damning section in The Guardian report:

One individual briefed on Cohen’s activities said he had used “despicable tactics” against Bensouda as part of an ultimately unsuccessful effort to intimidate and influence her. They likened his behavior to “stalking”.

The Mossad also took a keen interest in Bensouda’s family members and obtained transcripts of secret recordings of her husband, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the situation. Israeli officials then attempted to use the material to discredit the prosecutor.

In December 2011, Fatou Bensouda was elected by consensus by the Assembly of States Parties to serve as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

This was part of what many are calling a decade-long covert "war" waged from the shadows by Israeli intelligence agencies against the Hague-based ICC.

Going back years, this created some degree of paranoia within the ICC prosecution division. There were fears that Israeli intelligence employed assets there or were able to secretly influence decision-making. The Guardian details further

According to two sources, there were even suspicions among senior ICC officials that Israel had cultivated sources within the court’s prosecution division, known as the office of the prosecutor. Another later recalled that although the Mossad “didn’t leave its signature”, it was an assumption the agency was behind some of the activity officials had been made aware of.

Only a small group of senior figures at the ICC, however, were informed that the director of the Mossad had personally approached the chief prosecutor.

Early this month, current ICC chief prosecutor Khan issued a strong statement condemning "all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence its officials."

In light of the new Guardian and +972 mag reports, this latest warning is being widely viewed as in part referencing the past history of Mossad's stalking tactics. Pressure on a political level had also intensified against the Hague court in the weeks leading up to and after its announcing the arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant.

Journalist and ex-Green Beret Jack Murphy commented on the revelations by saying of the lead-up to Oct.7: "Well, now we know what Israeli intelligence was busy doing instead of monitoring Hamas."