Institute for War and Peace Reporting: ICC Prosecutor Seeks Investigation of Russia-Georgia War”

  • One of many buildings damaged in the August 2008 conflict. Photo by Leli Blagonravova.

Review by Genevieve Helliwell

Review by Journalist of, 5 Nov 2015, Tbilisi,Georgia

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says there are reasonable grounds to look into crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict.

More than seven years after Georgia’s war with Russia, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague has asked judges to authorise an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the conflict, writes the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in a piece published online this week.

The piece describes the short but violent clash, the atrocities that occurred and the devastating effects it had on hundreds of thousands of citizens – many of whom were forced to flee their homes.

The article gives readers a comprehensive look at the conflict, the aftermath and describes the reasons why Prosecutor Bensouda wants to investigate the alleged cases of war crimes against humanity. The piece also quotes, local non-governmental organisation Georgian Young Lawyers Association chairperson Ana Natsvlishvili and Georgia’s Minister of Defence Tinatin Khidasheli, who both welcome the ICC investigation.

If the ICC carries out its investigation, it will be the first time the ICC has opened a full investigation outside Africa. Minister Khidasheli says the consequences of the ICC investigation will extend beyond Georgia.

This investigation will affect everybody’s relations with everybody,” she said. "Not just with Russia and South Ossetia, but Russia-West, Georgia-West, and every other country who is interested or should be interested in the case, because if they’re investigating war crimes or crimes against humanity on the territory of a Council of Europe member state by another Council of Europe member state... then it concerns everybody who’s party to this.”

The ICC's decision whether or not to open an investigation could take several months or longer.

Read the full article here: