A parliamentary commission studying the August war gathered on December 11 to discuss upcoming report that the group has to produce based on extensive testimonies by up to two dozen of sitting or former senior officials.
MP Khatuna Gogorishvili, a member of the commission from the ruling party, said that a significant part of the voluminous report, which is expected within next ten days, will be dedicated to the pre-war situation and the events leading up to the Russian aggression.
The commission with an official name Temporary Commission to Study Russia’s Military Aggression and Other Actions Undertaken with the Aim to Infringe Georgia’s Territorial Integrity, has less powers than the formal investigative parliamentary group.
According to Parliament’s rules and procedures, an investigative commission can be convened to gather information on wrongdoings committed by “state agencies and officials, which pose a threat to Georgia’s security, sovereignty, territorial integrity, or to the [country's] political, economic and other types of interests.” It was the ruling party’s decision not to have any investigative group and instead a temporary commission was set up.
Members of the commission from the parliamentary minority, in particular from the Christian-Democratic Party, were demanding to continue hearings before starting drafting the report. In particular they were calling for summoning Georgia’s former UN ambassador, Irakli Alasania, and Georgia’s former ambassador to Russia, Irakli Chubinishvili. MP Levan Vepkhvadze, a member of the commission from the Christian-Democratic Party, however, said on December 11, that the party was dropping its demand.
MP Vepkhvadze also said that his party would raise the issue of responsibility of concrete officials depending on the results of the EU-funded inquiry, which is led by Swiss diplomat, Heidi Tagliavini.
“If it turns out, based on the Tagliavini’s commission conclusions, that there is need to raise the issue of responsibility of certain Georgian officials, we will demand setting up of an investigative parliamentary commission to tackle this issue,” MP Vepkhvadze said.
The EU’s inquiry mission has eight months to complete its work, with conclusions to be presented to EU, OSCE, Georgia and Russia on July 31, 2009; but the mission could be extended beyond that deadline if necessary.