KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — The United Nations (UN) has been officially informed of Malaysia’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Foreign Ministry said today.

In a statement, the Ministry said the letter of withdrawal was presented to the United Nations’ Secretary-General on April 29 as he is the statute’s depository.

“Malaysia’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute was also touched upon during the wrapping up of the Dewan Negara session last Tuesday (April 30) where questions regarding it was answered by Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahaya.

“The United Nations will remove Malaysia’s name from the list of signatories, following the procedure’s completion,” said the ministry.

The ICC, established in 2002, is governed by the Rome Statute and is the first permanent and treaty-based international criminal court.

Its objectives is to address four of the most serious crimes to the international community, namely that of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression.

The court usually takes actions against individuals or organisations after a government has proven itself to be unwilling or unable to prosecute either of the four crimes.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah had signed the statute’s Instrument of Accession on March 4, and it was deposited with the United Nations’ Secretary-General that same day.

On April 5 when announcing Malaysia’s withdrawal, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the decision was made due to a lot of confusion on what the statute entails caused by people with vested political interests, and not because the government opposes it.