About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 19:38 - 24 Apr.'14
 
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Prosecutor's Office Sets Up Group to Probe into August War
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 14 May.'13 / 15:46

An eight-member group has been established by the Georgian prosecutor’s office to probe into alleged crimes committed during and after the August 2008 war.

The prosecutor’s office said that the group includes investigators from the interior ministry; defense ministry’s military police and prosecutor’s office.

Chief prosecutor, Archil Kbilashvili, said that the group would look into allegations of war crimes. Referring to the International Criminal Court and to the Rome Statute, he said that such investigation was part of Georgia’s international commitment.

Such investigation was opened by the previous government and is currently under preliminary examination from Office of the Prosecutor of The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

ICC was established by the Rome Statute to prosecute people for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

ICC, however, will not act if a case is investigated or prosecuted by respective national authorities, unless the proceedings are mere formality aimed at shielding a person from criminal responsibility.

Unlike Russia, Georgia is a state party to the Rome Statute.

Just few days after August, 2008 war, the Prosecutor’s Office of ICC announced about “preliminary examination” of the situation.

“Preliminary examination” is the phase during which ICC’s Prosecutor’s Office assesses if its own investigation should be opened; at this phase it also assesses whether crimes falling under the ICC jurisdiction may have been committed in a given situation and whether genuine investigations and prosecutions are being carried out by the authorities of respective states.

In respect of the August war, ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor still remains on this stage of preliminary examination, keeping communication with the Georgian and Russian authorities to follow their respective investigations into alleged crimes committed during the war; Office of the Prosecutor also maintains contacts with non-governmental organizations present in the region, some of which are also assessing relevant national proceedings.

Allegations in connection to the August war involve forcible displacement of Georgian population; attack against Russian peacekeepers by the Georgian troops; attacks directed against the civilian population and civilian objects by both Georgian and Russian armed forces; destruction of property; pillage in ethnic Georgian villages in the aftermath of the active hostilities; torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

In its November, 2012 report ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor said “there is a reasonable basis to believe” that torture; destruction of property; pillaging; deportation or forcible transfer of population had been committed.

It, however, also said: “Further evaluation of other alleged conduct by parties to the conflict, including the alleged intentional directing of attacks against Russian peacekeepers, has to date proved inconclusive”; it also noted that this initial assessment may be revisited if new facts or evidence emerge.
 
“At this stage, both Georgia and Russia appear to be conducting relevant national investigations into the crimes allegedly committed during the armed conflict. Four years after the events, however, neither investigation has yielded any results,” reads the November, 2012 report by ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor.

In December, 2011 the Georgian government reiterated to ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor that it was “mindful of its international obligation to investigate and prosecute grave crimes that concern the international community as a whole and resorts to its best efforts to comply with those commitments.”

In its November, 2012 report Office of the Prosecutor said that the failure by both Georgia and Russia to yield result in their respective probes was raising questions that no genuine investigations were ongoing.

Georgia was citing two main obstacles to the investigation of the acts allegedly committed by the Georgian military: the lack of access to the alleged crime scene and the lack of cooperation from Russia and de factor authorities in Tskhinvali. Russia was also citing lack of cooperation from Georgia as one of the reasons behind its failure to investigate alleged crimes.

Latest News
24 Apr.'14 19:38
Amnesty International Calls on Georgian Authorities Not to Water Down Anti-Discrimination Bill
The human rights group called for a bill that will be “effective tool to combat discrimination.”
24 Apr.'14 18:03
Georgia's Foreign Trade in Q1'14
Georgia’s foreign trade increased 18% year-to-year in the first three months of 2014 to USD 2.52 bln.
24 Apr.'14 17:30
Israeli Interior Minister Visits Georgia
Gideon Sa'ar met his Georgian counterpart and PM Garibashvili in Tbilisi on April 24.
24 Apr.'14 14:35
Georgian President in Prague for EaP Anniversary
Margvelashvili participates in high-level meeting marking 5th anniversary of Eastern Partnership.
24 Apr.'14 13:42
French, German FMs Hold Talks with Georgian Leadership in Tbilisi
Fabius and Steinmeier arrived in Tbilisi after visiting Moldova.
23 Apr.'14 18:54
Georgian, Greek FMs Meet in Athens
Bilateral ties, Georgia’s EU, NATO integration, as well as Ukraine discussed.
23 Apr.'14 17:43
French, German FMs to Visit Tbilisi
The visit is part of their joint trip, which also includes Moldova and Tunisia on April 23-25.
23 Apr.'14 17:40
PM Rules Out Cabinet Reshuffle
These rumors are spread by UNM to instill “sense of instability”, PM Garibashvili said.
22 Apr.'14 23:49
Ex-Defense Minister Okruashvili Barred from Running for Gori Mayor
CEC said Okruashvili, who returned to Georgia less than 2 years ago, fails to meet residency requirement.
22 Apr.'14 22:52
Iranian President Meets Georgian Diplomat, Raises Rail Link with Georgia via Azerbaijan
The entire region will benefit from this railway link, President Rouhani said.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2013, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
44