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Saakashvili Slams Ivanishvili's August War Remarks
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 11 Apr.'13 / 23:54

PM Ivanishvili's statement about the 2008 August war amount to giving Russia "legal justification for occupation" of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, President Saakashvili said on April 11 and added that he would not cooperate with war-related investigation.

President Saakashvili was referring to remarks by PM Ivanishvili when he said on April 10, that circumstances of the August, 2008 war still remained “obscured by fog” and should be investigated. “I personally have many questions and I also think that our authorities, including the President, acted inadequately in that situation,” Ivanishvili said. "I think it was unjustifiable to start military actions before Russian [troops] crossed into Georgian borders." Ivanishvili also said that President Saakashvili should also be questioned in the process “if needed.”

Chief prosecutor, Archil Kbilashvili, said on April 11 that a group of prosecutors would be set up to probe into alleged war crimes - the investigation, which was opened by the previous government and which is under preliminary examination from Office of the Prosecutor of The Hague-based International Criminal Court.  

"The Georgian government says that it wants to carry out pragmatic policy towards Russia and I welcome it; we also were trying it," President Saakashvili told Georgian journalists in Warsaw where he is now paying a working visit.

"But explain me what kind of pragmatism is it when you give the occupying power legal justification for occupation? What pragmatism are we talking about when you give [Russia] moral advantage, which it was deprived of," Saakashvili said.

"Not a single official in the world, except of Russian officials and except of Hugo Chavez, has ever accused Georgia of... launching the war and of initiating the war," he said. "PM directly accused the Georgian armed forces of unleashing war in August, 2008."

"Today Georgia has the government, which says that it was Georgia who first launched military actions, and actually giving the aggressor [referring to Russia] a trump card on its drive to continue international recognition [of Abkhazia and South Ossetia]."

"As the President I state with full responsibility, that I completely distance myself from the statement of Prime Minister that launch of military actions and start of the war was Georgia's fault."

"As the citizen of Georgia and as the President, I will not cooperate even a second with this anti-state investigation, whose eventual goal is to shake Georgia's statehood and which is directed against territorial integrity of our country," Saakashvili said.

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