The Guardian: “Georgia accuses Russia of war crimes during 2008 conflict“

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze

Review by the Journalist of, 25 May 2018, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Court of Human Rights has heard closing evidence from Georgia about its allegations of war crimes and violations by Russia during the 2008 war between the two states, The Guardian has reported.

The accusations laid out at the court this week centred around the five-day conflict and what the Georgian side said were bombing attacks on civilian areas in Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) breakaway province.

The [Georgian] government said there was overwhelming proof that Russian bombs were dropped on civilian areas, killing and injuring innocent people. The evidence included witness statements, satellite footage, and video and phone intercepts”, the article notes.

Arguments presented in the court by the Georgian side included description of sealing off of ethnic Georgian villages by Russian invasion forces, followed by "summary executions” of locals and preventing the latter from leaving.

Effects of the case could go beyond its legal outcomes, says the report, noting that "[i]n 2015, the Kremlin said it was on the brink of withdrawing from the court, which has found against the Russian state on numerous occasions”.

[Ben Emmerson QC, acting for Georgia], told the judges: ‘It is an open secret that Russia has [issued] dark threats that it will deratify the European convention on human rights and starve the court of funding if the case goes against it”, said the news story.

Read the full story here: