Jun 16, 2022 - World

Netherlands says it foiled Russian plot to infiltrate International Criminal Court

A flag with the logo of the International Criminal Court in March 2022 in Den Haag, Netherlands.
A flag with the logo of the International Criminal Court in March 2022 in Den Haag, Netherlands. Photo: Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Netherlands' security service said Thursday it uncovered a plot by a member of Russia's military intelligence service to use a false identity to infiltrate the International Criminal Court (ICC) through an internship.

Why it matters: Netherland's security service said the man would have had access to the headquarters and systems of the ICC, which is investigating war crimes committed during Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

  • It said that the intelligence officer posed a "potentially very high" threat to the court and may have been able to influence criminal cases.

What they're saying: "If this person had been given the opportunity to actually do work at the ICC, he could have gathered intelligence here, spot (or recruit) resources and gain access to digital systems," Netherlands' General Intelligence and Security Service said.

  • "In this way, the man could have met the GRU's intelligence needs to a significant extent. He may also have been able to influence criminal cases within the ICC," it added.

The big picture: It said the man, identified as Russia GRU member Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, sought to enter the Netherlands and the internship under a false Brazilian identity but was denied entry in April, declared an unwanted alien and sent back to Brazil.

  • The court is also investigating war crimes committed during Russia's invasion of Georgia in 2008.

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