Kremlin-backed authorities in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia have said they “categorically reject” to interact with the International Criminal Court, whose prosecutor filed the arrest warrant of three former de facto Tskhinvali officials over alleged war crimes in 2008.
“The absolutely biased in the political sense platform, adopted by this organization as a basis for the investigation of the events of August 2008, has nothing to do with justice,” said the S. Ossetian “foreign ministry” on March 21.
It claimed that the recent news from the ICC “caused complete bewilderment in South Ossetia, since these officials, who were accused of war crimes against Georgian prisoners of war and civilians, had made every possible effort to save those persons lives, to ensure their security in the territory of South Ossetia and later to transfer them to the Georgian side.“
„Today, against the backdrop of a very serious crisis [Russia’s armed attack against Ukraine – editor] in international relations, the ICC has obviously decided to revitalize and make possible contribution to its aggravation, finally discrediting European justice,” added the “foreign ministry” of the Russian-occupied Tskhinvali.
It further claimed that “such a special kind of justice, which blatantly ignores inconvenient facts, does not withstand any criticism and cannot be accepted in a country which has suffered armed aggression.”
- ICC Files Arrest Warrant for S. Ossetian Officials
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The prosecutor of The Hague-based court, Karim Khan filed an application for warrants of arrest of three de facto S. Ossetian officials with reasonable grounds to believe that they bear criminal responsibility for the war crimes committed in and around S. Ossetia, during August 8-27, 2008.
These officials are Lt.-Gen. Mikhail Mindzaev, de facto interior minister in 2005-2008; Hamlet Guchmazov, former head of the preliminary detention facility of the de facto interior ministry, and David Sanakoev, current lawmaker and former presidential representative for human rights in S. Ossetia.
According to the ICC prosecutor, the three men bear criminal responsibility over unlawful confinement, torture, inhuman treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, hostage taking, and unlawful transfer.
Karim Khan also stated that the investigation further uncovered the alleged role of Vyacheslav Borisov, then Major General in the Russian Armed Forces and Deputy Commander of the Airborne Forces, “who is believed to have intentionally contributed to the execution of some of these crimes, and is now deceased.”