The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants against three people for alleged war crimes during the conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia in 2008indicated the ICC this Thursday in a statement.
The judges approved the arrest warrants against Mayramovich Mindzayev (also called Mindzayev), then Minister of Internal Affairs of the pro-Russian breakaway region, and Gamlet Guchmazov and David Georgiyevich Sanakoevtwo other officials from South Ossetia, the Court said.
The investigation focused on the illegal confinement, ill-treatment, hostage-taking and subsequent illegal transfer of ethnic Georgian civilians “in the context of an occupation by the Russian Federation” between August 8 and 27, 2008, the ICC Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
In August 2008, Georgian troops attacked Tskhinval, the capital of South Ossetia, and other towns, triggering the intervention of Russian military forces in support of South Ossetian militias and forced the Georgians to withdraw.
The conflict lasted for days, caused more than 600 deaths and weeks later Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The chief prosecutor of the ICC indicated that South Ossetian forces, and to a lesser extent those of Russia, captured “Georgian civilians, mostly elderly and sick who were unable or unwilling to leave their homes and flee the fighting.”
“They were not given a valid reason for their capture and detention, nor were they given any kind of procedural rights. The evidence shows that many of these people were illegally confined in unsanitary and unsafe conditions, insulted, beaten, tortured and humiliated,” added Khan.
(With information from AFP and EFE)
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