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ICC Opens Probe Into War Crimes in South Ossetia in 2008

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According to an ICC statement, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court has authorized an investigation for the crimes within the ICC jurisdiction, allegedly committed in and around South Ossetia between July 1 and October 10, 2008.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has authorized an investigation for the crimes within the ICC jurisdiction, allegedly committed in and around South Ossetia between July 1 and October 10, 2008, according to an ICC statement issued on Wednesday.

"On 13 October 2015, the ICC Prosecutor submitted her "Request for authorization of an investigation pursuant to article 15" of the Rome Statute, asking for authorization from Pre-Trial Chamber I to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Georgia, for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in and around South Ossetia in 2008," the statement says.

According to the ICC, the Chamber received the representations by or on behalf of 6,335 victims on this matter.

"After examining the request and the supporting material, the Chamber concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the ICC's jurisdiction have been committed…in the context of an international armed conflict between 1 July and 10 October 2008," the document says.

The ICC considers murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution to be crimes against humanity, while attacks against the civilian population, willful killing, intentionally directing attacks against peacekeepers, destruction of property and pillaging are considered war crimes.

In 2008, Georgia launched a military offensive against the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which escalated into a five-day war with Russia. Both regions declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s. Their statehood was recognized by Russia following the 2008 conflict.

 

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