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What is the Hague court investigating?

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, January 28
At the beginning of February Tbilisi will host a group of investigators from the Hague international court, who will study different issues concerning the August 2008 war.

The so called Tagliavini Commission, established by the European Union, drew no political or legal conclusions. It was simply a fact finding commission. However right after this document was published PACE adopted a resolution obliging the Hague international tribunal to study the document and investigate the events it described from a legal point of view. The tribunal is obliged to act on this resolution.

Russia wants to use this resolution for its advantage by insisting that the Hague investigators confirm the allegation that Georgia started the war and committed genocide in South Ossetia. Georgians however, both analysts and members of the authorities, state that this investigation will further confirm the crimes committed by Russia and the Moscow-supported separatists and unmask the nature of the Russian aggression against Georgia.

The Russian media insists that the Hague experts have been sent to Georgia following multiple applications from Russia and South Ossetia. Maybe Moscow and its puppet regime in Tskhinvali wants the Hague investigators to confirm Georgia’s guilt but instead they will be given evidence of the ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population in South Ossetia, where complete villages inhabited by ethnic Georgians were razed to the ground and their populations forced to flee, although of course some guilt does lie with the Georgian side. More than 30,000 people of Georgian origin cannot now return to their places of original dwelling, and the Georgian side hopes that one of the main activities of the Hague court representatives will be investigating this and other consequences of the August war.

Official Tbilisi has expressed a deep interest in collaborating with the Hague court. Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze has stated that Tbilisi is interested in helping create not only a political but a legal document, prepared by Hague tribunal, which will confirm that ethnic cleansing took place in Georgia and the territories of this sovereign country are occupied by Russia. Therefore Georgia is ready to provide the investigators with all the necessary materials which will help it reveal the truth.

Lawyer Lia Mukhashavria thinks that the Hague court investigators will examine not only the conduct of the Georgian leadership but also the actions of the Russians and their puppet regime in Tskhinvali. She alleges that one accusation against the Georgian leadership could be that it did not ensure the security of its population by failing to evacuate them in due time before it took military action. Abandoning your people to their fate is a war crime. The use of cluster bombs will also be studied. The Georgian side has admitted using these banned weapons but The Kremlin, which did so intensively, categorically denies this.

The Georgian opposition will most probably try to use the presence of the Hague court investigators in Georgia to remove the existing Government. In this case some of the arguments made by Russia will be repeated by the Georgian opposition as well. However we do not yet know how the Georgian people will react to this.