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Georgian Government welcomes the international investigation of Russian-Georgian war

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 16
Georgia’s Official bodies are welcoming the initiative of the Prosecutor of Hague’s Inyernational Criminal Court to launch an investigation over the Russian-Georgian War of 2008.

As Georgia’s Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani has stated 6,000 witnesses have been questioned since August 2008 and 1,000 of them have been interrogated in the recent months over the war developments.

"A total of 1000 witnesses have been questioned in the last months. This is one of the most large-scale investigations in the history of Georgian prosecution. We are going to hand over these materials to The Hague prosecutor,” said the Minister.

According to her, the main shortcoming of the Georgian side is the lack of access to the occupied territories.

"I hope that the Hague prosecutor will be able to conduct investigative actions in the occupied territories. We will assist her as far as we can to prove that Georgians had been ethnically cleansed, the torture of Georgian military personnel, and other crimes committed by the invader on the Georgian territory, including South Ossetia," the Minister said.

On October 14, the Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda requested permission from the Court's judges to begin an investigation into alleged cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008.

Bensouda said as there was reasonable evidence that crimes had been committed during the short but violent clash and she wanted to investigate this thoroughly.

The Prosecutor intends to arrive to Georgia during the following days.

When the current Georgian Government started discussing the investigation of the war, the opposition, the former ruling power United National Movement (UNM), stated that the Government tried to put blame on the previous Government.

In general, they were against the re-investigation of the war details by the current Georgian Government as according to them everything was clear and Russian faults were obvious.

Meanwhile, the current Government stated that they wanted to know the details to make some improvements in the country’s military directions, stressing that it was clear that Russia started the war.

All in all, the fact that the International Court wants to investigate the case is really worth welcoming.

Firstly, the opposition will not have a ground to accuse anyone of a biased investigation. Secondly, if the court delivers a verdict about ethnic cleansing on the Georgian soil it will increase the already-intense international pressure on Russia. Thirdly, if it is reiterated that Russia initiated the war and invaded Georgian territory it will be one more victory for Georgia on the international stage. Fourthly, the Russian side will have no grounds to state that the investigation was biased. Fifthly, the investigation will enable Georgia to observe its strong and weak angles in wars.