ICC issues 3 warrants against de facto officials of 2008 Georgia war


By Aluta News

Mar. 11, 2022

The International Criminal Court in Hague has issued arrest warrants against three de facto officials of Georgia’s Russian-occupied breakaway Tskhinvali (South Ossetia.

All three men held high positions in the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia at the time, according to the prosecution.

Chief prosecutor Karim Khan said on Thursday night in The Hague that the men were suspected of war crimes such as ill-treatment, hostage-taking and the illegal expulsion of ethnic Georgian citizens.

Mikhail Mayramovich Mindzaev and Gamlet Guchmazov both reportedly held high positions in South Ossetia’s Interior Ministry and David Georgiyevich Sanakoev was the president’s commissioner for human rights.

The conflict over the Georgian region, which lasted only a few days, resulted in the deaths of several hundred people and forced an estimated 150,000 to flee.

After the war, Russia recognised the independence of South Ossetia from Georgia.

The investigation had been initiated in 2016.

Chief prosecutor Khan stated that he had found similar patterns of conduct to those in South Ossetia in the current investigation into the situation in Ukraine.

“I remain profoundly concerned about ongoing allegations of international crimes occurring amidst active hostilities in Ukraine today,’’ Khan wrote.

The Georgian war triggered a serious crisis between Russia and the West at the time. Georgia lost the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia for good.

They remain dependent on Russia, which has recognised their sovereignty.

However, the EU and the U.S. continue to regard the territories as part of Georgia.