Investigation of Russia-Georgia war is in active phase, ICC members say in Tbilisi

CC prosecutor started the investigation of the Russia Georgia war four years ago and said that the investigation will take as much time as needed.Photo: Marina Riera Rodoreda/Human Rights Watch., 08 May 2019 - 16:23, Tbilisi,Georgia

Members of the International Criminal Court (ICC), who are visiting Tbilisi, have told the Georgian media that the investigation of the Russia-Georgia war launched by the court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in 2015, is in its active phase.

The process is confidential and we are not allowed to reveal details,” they said.

Georgian Justice Minister said that range of activities have been conducted by the court alone and with the help of the Georgian government to establish the truth regarding “ethnic cleansing in Georgia during the Russia-Georgia 2008 war and the torture of Georgian war captives.”

We know that such crimes took place, but the recognition of this by the ICC is very important for the country’s future,” Tsulukiani said.

Tserovani ,the settlement 36 km away from Georgia's capital Tbilisi where part of the people internally displaced as the result  of  2008 Russia-Georgia war lives now. Photo by Nino Alavidze/  

A top prosecutor from ICC in The Hague, Netherlands, Fatou Bensouda announced in October 2015 she wanted to investigate possible crimes committed during the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia, noting there was "strong evidence” crimes had been committed during the short but violent war.

Bensouda indicated between 51 and 113 ethnic Georgian civilians were killed during a "forcible displacement campaign” conducted by South Ossetia's de facto authorities, with the possible participation of members of the Russian Armed Forces.

“Between 13,400 and 18,500 ethnic Georgians were forcibly displaced and more than 5,000 dwellings belonging to ethnic Georgians were reportedly destroyed as part of this conflict. The ethnic Georgian population living in the conflict zone was reduced by at least 75 percent,” said Bensouda in her statement on October 13, 2015, while submitting the official request to start an investigation.

In January 2015 ICC  authorized Bensouda to proceed with the  investigation

The ICC chamber made this decision after examining the prosecutor’s request and supporting material, including representations by or on behalf of 6,335 victims of the conflict.

In February 2015 Russia refused to cooperate with ICC within the investigation, stressing that the armed conflict was provoked by Georgia.

The Government of Georgia is fully cooperating with ICC in the investigation process.