TSKHINVAL, January 29. /TASS/. South Ossetia said it is ready to support investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the situation in Georgia in 2008, but the court should consider the base of crimes, the republic has, so that the investigation is deemed fair, South Ossetia’s Foreign Minister Kazbulat Tskhovrebov told TASS on Friday.
"South Ossetia is satisfied with the decision of the International Criminal Court concerning investigation into military crimes and crimes against humanity, committed in and around South Ossetia between July 1 and October 10, 2008," the minister said. "Though the Rome statute is not applicable in its territory, the republic is ready to support impartial and professional investigation."
The investigation materials on crimes, committed during Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia in August, 2008, surely, should include the republic’s base of proofs of those crimes.
"Without that component, investigation of the International Criminal Court may be hardly called impartial," he said.
However, the foreign minister continued, certain bewilderment is caused by the time frame limiting the investigation initiated by the International Criminal Court.
"Our position is - without considering the pre-history of the tragic events of August, 2008, the investigation is bound to be biased in determining victims in Georgia’s many attempts to establish its jurisdiction over South Ossetia," he said.
On January 27, an ICC press release said "today, the Office of the Prosecutor ("Office") of the International Criminal Court ("ICC") has been authorized by the Judges in the Pre-Trial Chamber I ("PTC") to commence an investigation into the alleged ICC crimes occurring on the territory of Georgia between 1 July 2008 and 10 October 2008."
More than 1,000 people were killed in five-day warfare after Georgia attacked South Ossetia overnight to August 8, 2008 and Russian troops had to intervene. Russian military, being part of the CIS-mandated peacekeeping mission, were the first to come under attack. Seventy-two of Russian military were killed in the conflict.
After the war, South Ossetia declared independence. . It was recognized by Russia, and only a few other countries followed suit, while the rest of the world considers the territory part of Georgia.