Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A United Nations judge resigned in protest from the organization's international court in The Hague, citing political interference from the White House and Turkey.
First, Turkey removed Turkish judge Aydin Sefa Akay because of links to Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who has been blamed for a failed coup attempt against Erdogan. Flugge said those accusations were "baseless."
The U.N. General Assembly voted in a new Turkish judge proposed by Ankara that "rewarded Turkey for its political maneuver," Flugge said.
Then, as the court investigated U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, he and other judges were threatened with sanctions by White House national security adviser John Bolton. Last year, Bolton said the International Criminal Court was "dead to us."
"Every incident in which judicial independence is breached is one too many," Flugge said. "Now there is this case, and everyone can invoke it in the future. Everyone can say, 'But you let Turkey get its way.' This is an original sin. It can't be fixed."
He said he was shocked that Bolton would take such a hard line.
"If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the US or investigate an American citizen, he said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States - and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted," Flugge said.
Flugge, a German, was a permanent judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.