The request of the prosecutor to conduct investigations is a formal procedure provided for by the standards of the ICC. According to them, the prosecutor starts an investigation against a State party on his own initiative, but his actions must be confirmed by the Pre-Trial Chamber, which consists of three independent and impartial judges.
Naphthalene Prosecutor Fatou Bensuda Initiative
The reference to the investigation by Georgia “against its own armed men” is nothing more than a figure of prosecutor’s speech. It is clear that the initiative to return to the world political agenda the forgotten history the Georgian-Ossetian conflict belongs to Fatu Bensud herself or to those who promoted her to a high position in the structure of international justice.
This follows from the obvious fact that the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office did not appeal to Bensud for support, otherwise it would be reflected in the information space. In early October, it was reported that the International Criminal Court is launching investigations into crimes committed during the war in Georgia.
The information somewhat disoriented commentators familiar with the history of this conflict. The titles flashed headlines: “The Hague court will investigate the events of August 2008,” “Mikhail Saakashvili may be brought before the Hague international court,” “Saakashvili may be held accountable for the conflict in South Ossetia,” “The Hague tribunal for the war in Georgia: Saakashvili can be judged ”,“ 5-day war between the Russian Federation and Georgia is being investigated by 2008 in the Hague ”, etc.
Commentators did not notice the warnings of the head of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, in his quick temper. Speaking to 6 of October with a lecture at MGIMO, he said that in 2008, he had opened a criminal investigation into the facts of the genocide and massacres of Russian citizens, as well as Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia. “Now, three days ago, a letter came from The Hague, where we are asked to submit materials at last. Such a request is a kind of “sanction”, there they will start to press us for sure, accusing us of aggression. ”
Alexander Bastrykina’s preoccupation soon found confirmation in the headlines of Western publications, in which they often duplicated a full house “The court in The Hague investigates crimes committed during the Russian war against Georgia.” The accent is very remarkable.
He also appeared in the comments of Fatu Bensuda herself. The prosecutor of the ICC is going to investigate not the “five-day war”, as suggested in the media, but a period of conflict from mid-July to the end of October 2008.
Reuters, citing its sources, writes: “The object of the investigation could be the death of 113 ethnic Georgians during the conflict, as well as the forced eviction of 18500 people from the territory of South Ossetia. Bensuda believes that Russian troops may be involved in a noticeable reduction in the Georgian population of the republic. ”
In addition, the prosecutor of the ICC believes that both sides were involved in the death of peacekeepers in the conflict zone. According to her, two Georgian peacekeepers were killed by South Ossetian militiamen, and 10 Russian peacekeepers died at the hands of Georgian soldiers.
In order to give the investigation an objective appearance, the prosecutor of the ICC suspected Georgia of yet another crime - “Tbilisi may be involved in the destruction of a medical institution in South Ossetia.”
To the naked eye, it is clear that this entire initiative of the ICC is directed against Russia. After all, the time of its appearance (beginning of October) directly coincided with the activation of our aerospace forces in Syria, and the statement by Fatou Bensuda (even the London news agency drew attention to it) "appeared a few hours after the report of the Dutch authorities came to the conclusion that the Malaysian Boeing was knocked off the ground by the Buk system.
Moreover, according to Russian human rights activists, they "tried to bring our materials - and we qualified the actions of the Georgian military as military offenses - to the International Court of Justice in the Hague ...". Then the ICC did not show interest in the topic. But now they eagerly blow away dust and naphthalene to fill it with new content. How?
In the wake of the five-day war in South Ossetia
The tragic events of 2008 in South Ossetia from the very beginning gave rise to polar views in world public opinion. The prevailing point of view of Western politicians, which was generated by the United States. Russia was blamed for the five-day war.
However, I recall in brief the course of the conflict. It has grown since the end of July 2008. Georgian and South Ossetian military fired firefights and fire raids of varying degrees of intensity. By the evening of August 7 still agreed on a cease-fire.
Instead, on the night of 7 on 8 in August 2008 (in 0: 06), Georgian troops launched a massive shelling of the capital of South Ossetia, the city of Tskhinvali and surrounding areas. A few hours later, armored vehicles and infantry of Georgia went to the assault. In Tbilisi, the reason for the attack was called a violation of the cease-fire South Ossetia. Tskhinval insisted that Georgia was the first to fire.
8 August (in 14: 59) in the framework of the operation to force Georgia to peace on the side of South Ossetia, Russia officially joined the conflict. 9 August - Abkhazia, driven by an agreement on military assistance between members of the Commonwealth of unrecognized states. 12 August 2008 Russia officially announced the successful completion of the operation. 13 August Abkhazia ousted Georgian troops from the Kodori Gorge. This active fighting ended.
On August 16, the leaders of the states involved in the hostilities signed a plan for the peaceful settlement of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict (the “Medvedev-Sarkozy Plan”).
In December, the European Union set up the International Commission of Inquiry into the War of the South Caucasus in August 2008 to examine the causes of the conflict. Headed by its former UN representative in Georgia, Heidi Tagliavini. The Commission at the end of September 2009 presented a report, the key points of which refuted the Georgian version. The main conclusion - the war began Georgia. From the point of view of international law, her actions in South Ossetia were recognized as unjustified. At the same time, the commission considered that "Russia had the right to repel an attack on its peacekeepers by means proportional to the threat." In order to save the face of Western diplomacy, fascinated by the accusations of Russia, the report recorded: the conflict was preceded by months-long defiant actions of the Russian Federation. And yet - even though, according to the commission, “the initial response of Russia to the attack of Georgian troops on Tskhinvali was justified by the objectives of the defense, but the subsequent actions of the Russian troops were excessive”. Perhaps it was this passage of the report that was remembered by those who led the ICC prosecutor Fatu Bensud to begin investigating the events of the forgotten world of armed conflict.
The investigation will help interested media
This initiative has no serious legal perspective, since the possibilities of the International Criminal Court are, in general, limited. It was established in accordance with the so-called Rome Statute - an international treaty adopted at the diplomatic conference in Rome 17 July 1998. The competence of the ICC has included the prosecution of those responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The court in The Hague began working on July 1 on the 2002 of the year, after the Rome Statute, ratified by the 60 countries that signed it, entered into force. Russia signed the Memorandum of Association, but abstained from ratification, remaining in the status of an observer country. (And this is the first, if not the most important, obstacle to the investigation of the Fatu Bensuda.)
A number of states already at the Rome Conference opposed the very idea of an international criminal court restricting national sovereignty and giving the ICC unreasonably broad powers. The Rome Statute was not signed by more than 40 countries. The main things on this list are the USA, China, India, Israel and Iran. True, the United States first signed a treaty, and then in 2002, the year (the president changed - instead of Clinton, Bush Jr.) Withdrew their signature. Moreover, in 2002, they passed a special law on the protection of American personnel abroad, which allowed the use of military force to release any American citizen or citizens from among allies of the United States detained on the territory of a state under the ICC warrant.
This decision did not add credibility to the court, the jurisdiction of which was already limited to the countries that adopted the Rome Statute, and its powers were outlined by strict limits. First of all, the ICC is not part of the official UN structures, funded by member states or voluntary contributions. In contrast, for example, to the UN tribunals for the former Yugoslavia or for Rwanda in the ICC, the competence of the state takes precedence over the jurisdiction of the court. This means that Russia, which is conducting its own investigation into the 2008 events of the year, has a preferential right here. It will become an obstacle for Fatu Bensuda. The prosecutor will not have the necessary authority to collect information. Unless, of course, Russia voluntarily shares it.
All these small and large restrictions can thoroughly undermine the judicial perspective of the planned investigation. Perhaps the only opportunity for the prosecutor to express himself is to go with information to interested media, to share the facts at her disposal, which, in principle, Bensuda has already done. She very clearly announced the priorities of the investigation - Georgian losses and the problems of displaced persons. For brackets left dead and wounded in Tskhinval itself. Thus, the first information attack opened the veil over the true objectives of the International Criminal Court in the investigation of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.
... At about the same time that the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC made a statement about the goals of her dubious investigation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova addressed the media. She challenged the recent version of the information war between the West and Russia. “Many are talking about the information war,” Maria Zakharova told reporters, “but it seems to me that this is not a war, after all, at least two parties are participating in it. This is informational aggression. ” Now the International Criminal Court has found its place in it ...