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Minister Calls on Presidential Candidates to Be Careful When Mentioning August War

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, October 3
Justice Minister of Georgia, Thea Tsulukiani calls on all presidential candidates to be careful when making comments about the Georgia-Russia 2008.

The minister noted that The International Criminal Court (ICC) continues the investigation of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war in an intense manner, adding when the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze, met ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in New York on September 26, they discussed the case and its great importance for Georgia.

“The PM told Bensouda he hopes that the ethnic cleansing of Georgians, torture and manslaughter of captives, war crimes directed against the Georgian population and the use of Iskander by Russians in the bombing of the Georgian town of Gori will be investigated in a comprehensive manner,” Tsulukiani said.

The minister noted that the case is of utmost importance for the whole country and asked everyone to restrain from making statements over the case.

“Unity around this issue is important for all of us…The main is to see decisions of Hague or Strasbourg court that breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia are parts of Georgia,” she added.

Tsulukiani noted that in the last 5 years Georgian side gathered around 700 proofs that Russian side is to be blamed in the conflict.

“Instead of internal disagreement over the issue, we should realize that this case is of national interest,” she stressed.

An independent presidential candidate, Salome Zourabichvili, who is supported by the ruling Georgian Dream (GD), many times stated that it was Georgia who started the military conflict with Russia in 2008. She claims it is the fault of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili that Georgia lost 20% of its territories in a wake of the war.

For these statements, she has been heavily criticized by various politicians and civic groups. However, on October 1, 2018, founder and Chair of the GD party, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili criticized political opponents for “carrying out black PR” against Zourabichvili.

He stated he shares the opinion of the candidate about the August war, adding “it was Saakashvili who let Russian army in Georgia.”

The GD Chair says it is shameful that some politicians call Zurabishvili a “traitor” for her statements regarding the 2008 war.