Posted Tuesday, November 3 2009 at 19:53
Members of the Georgian opposition are demanding that President Mikhail Saakashvili should face a war crimes trial at The Hague.
Georgia’s Labour Party has said Mikhail Saakashvili should be held responsible for the war in South Ossetia that led to many civilian deaths.
The Georgian opposition’s move follows the release of a report commissioned by the European Union which found that Georgia started last year’s war in South Ossetia.
The EU report said that hostilities began with Georgia’s artillery attack on the capital, Tskhinval, which was not justified under international law.
The Georgian onslaught and large-scale military conflict lasted five days, until Georgian forces were driven out
“The commission accused Saakashvili of war crimes. Namely, of unleashing active hostilities, of a massive, wide-scale military operation in the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinval and the use of prohibited types of weapons,” said Ms Nestan Kirtadze, international secretary of Georgia’s Labour Party, addressing a news conference in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.
She further said that Mr Saakashvili oversaw the shelling and destruction of non military facilities, and of attacking military personnel from the peacekeeping mission that was mandated by the United Nations.
Georgia joined the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the Hague-based International Criminal Court, in 2003 and is therefore under its jurisdiction. “The Labour Party plans to ask Brussels and Washington to start an investigation immediately,’’ she said. (Agencies)