Zaw Htay also lashed out at Facebook for pulling down the pages of Myanmar's army chief and other top military brass on Monday, saying that the move could hamper the government's efforts with "national reconciliation".
Myanmar's government spokesman Zaw Htay talks to journalists during a press briefing at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Friday, Sept. 7, 2018.
The office of Myanmar President Win Myint also reiterated on Friday that it has no obligation to respect the court's ruling because the country is not a party to the treaty that established the institution.
It remains imperative that we continue to seek other worldwide justice mechanisms, as well as the United Nations Security Council referral of Myanmar to the ICC for the wide array of atrocity crimes its leaders have been accused, including genocide and other crimes against humanity. Myanmar is not a signatory to the court. An estimated 700,000 have fled the violence to neighboring Bangladesh.
Zaw Htay said the government had not sought to influence the court, despite global pressure over the Rohingya crackdown, including a U.N. Security Council meeting on Myanmar in the week before the verdict.
Last August, the Myanmar army started a brutal crackdown in Rakhine state, allegedly in response to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on police posts and a military base.
The three-member "fact-finding mission" and their team, working under a mandate from the United Nations -backed Human Rights Council, meticulously assembled hundreds of accounts from expatriate Rohingya, as well as satellite footage and other information for the report.
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The Muslim Rohingya have always been treated as outsiders in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, even though their families have lived in the country for generations.
On Aug. 25, 2017, Myanmar launched a major military crackdown on the Muslim ethnic minority, killing nearly 24,000 civilians and forcing 750,000 others, including women and children, to flee to Bangladesh, according to the Ontario International Development Agency.
The journalists, who pleaded not guilty, were investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim villagers by the Myanmar security forces at the time of their arrest in December.
The decision at the Hague-based court paves the way for prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to further examine whether there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case.
A government spokesperson says Myanmar is in a transition period.
The military has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has remained largely silent on the atrocities.