The messenger logo

Georgian Justice Minister: Hague Court investigation is legal procedure

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, February 22
The Justice Minister of Georgia, Tea Tsulukiani, stated that the investigation regarding the Georgia-Russian war of 2008 is being carried out by the International Criminal Court (ICC), and as a legal procedure should have its conclusions recognised in both Georgia and Russia.

Tsulukiani made this comment in response to a statement released by the leader of South Ossetia’s de facto government, Leonid Tibilov, who demanded that the so-called Ossetian parliament ask for Russia recognition of the “South Ossetian genocide committed by Georgia”.

According to the minister, the evidence clearly shows that during the war, the ethnic cleansing of Georgians took place.

“ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and other representatives have said many times that they will act only according to evidence and conclusive proof. From our point of view, all the evidences confirm the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in August, 2008 occurred,” Tsulukiani said.

The minister also believes that the Georgian side should actively help the investigation.

On February 19, South Ossetia’s de facto President Leonid Tibilov instructed so-called MPs to carry out preparatory work in order to submit a proposal on the “South Ossetian genocide committed by Georgia” to the Russian State Duma.

According to Tibilov, “some political forces continue to support Georgia in its reprisal aspirations”. Tibilov believes the evidence of this is the decision of the International Criminal Court to consider Georgia’s claim. “In which the events occurred in South Ossetia in 2008, are contrary to the documented facts; Russia, and not Georgia, is identified as the aggressor,” he said.

Moreover, Tibilov has announced the holding of a referendum, after which he will be able to directly ask Vladimir Putin about South Ossetia’s accession to become a full part of the Russian Federation.

“We are troubled by the recent complication of the international situation, such as events in Ukraine, in Syria and throughout the Middle East. In these circumstances, we feel the need to implement our dream of reunification with Greater Russia and the solution to the divided Ossetian people even more,” stated Tibilov.

On January 27 2016, ICC judges approved ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed between July and October 2008 in and around South Ossetia.