The Hague International Criminal Court has stated that its prosecutor planned to investigate possible war crimes committed in the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia.
The Hague International Courtís Prosecutor plans to investigate Russian-Georgian war of 2008
Tuesday, October 13
If the request from prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is accepted by the court, it would be the first such investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) outside of Africa.
In a statement, the court said that Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had concluded there was a "reasonable basis to believe" crimes had been committed during the short war over the Russian-backed breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia.
The international media reported that her request came as Russia continues to become a more active global diplomatic and military player, launching air strikes in support of the beleaguered Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, defying the broad Western consensus that he should abdicate.
Once the Prosecutor has submitted her request, it will then be for the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the court to decide whether or not to authorise the Prosecutor to open an investigation into the situation.
The judges will have to consider whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, upon examination of the Prosecutor's request and the supporting material, the courtís webpage reads.
The International Criminal Court (ICC), governed by the Rome Statute, is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious breaches of international law.
As a result of the Russian-Georgian war of 2008, Georgia lost 20% of its territory, and the de-facto regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) still remain under Russian control.
Hundreds of Georgians had been forced from their homes and locals living at the soĖcalled Administrative Boundary Line (ABD) are facing violations of their rights on a daily basis, Georgian officials say.