ICC pre-trial chamber issues arrest warrants against de facto Tskhinvali officials in 2008 Georgia-Russia war case

  • In comments on the ruling, the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia highlighted the development as “another great success” for the country in international courts and noted the arrest warrants would be sent to “all relevant states” to ensure detention of the three persons and their submission to the ICC. menarights.org

Agenda.ge, 30 Jun 2022 - 21:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

The pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Thursday issued arrest warrants for three former high-ranking officials in the de facto authorities of Georgia’s Russian-occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region, in a decision that follows a 2021 European Court of Human Rights ruling over their human rights violations during the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia in the region.

In a move that follows the ECHR ruling from January 2021, arrest warrants by the tribunal have been issued against Mikhail Mayramovich Mindzaev, the Minister of Internal Affairs of the de facto Tskhinvali regime, who served on the position between 2005 and October 31, 2008, as well as Gamlet Guchmazov, who held the position of the Head of the Preliminary Detention Facility of the de facto Ministry of Internal Affairs of the region during the war, and David Georgiyevich Sanakoev, the Presidential Representative for Human Rights of the Tskhinvali region, who also served as the Ombudsman during the war.

The individuals are accused of crimes including unlawful confinement, torture, inhumane treatment, violation of personal dignity, hostage-taking and unlawful transfer during the conflict. The Court ruling notes “gravest war crimes” to have been committed during the occupation of the region carried out by Russia. 

The investigation also established the guilt of Vyacheslav Borisov, a Major General in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Deputy Commander of the Airborne Forces, who is now deceased.

In comments on the ruling, the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia highlighted the development as “another great success” for the country in international courts and noted the arrest warrants would be sent to “all relevant states” to ensure detention of the three persons and their submission to the ICC.

The state body said it had been actively involved in obtaining and sending “hundreds” of pieces of evidence, backed by a “strong” Georgian legal evidence, to the Hague tribunal.

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