A delegation from the Office of Prosecutor of International Criminal Court (ICC), which visited Georgia last week, received an update on national investigation being carried out by the Georgian prosecutor’s office into alleged crimes committed during the August war, ICC’s Prosecutor’s Office said in a press release.
“The Rome Statute ensures the end of impunity,” ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said referring to the statute, which entered into force in 2002, establishing ICC.
“States have the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute; the Court only steps in if there are no genuine national proceedings,” he said.
Shortly after the war, the ICC Prosecutor announced on August 20, 2008 about the preliminary examination of the situation in Georgia. During the preliminary examination ICC Prosecutor’s Office assesses if an investigation should be opened.
“The Court potentially has jurisdiction over ICC crimes allegedly committed on the territory of Georgia, including forced displacement of civilians, killing of peacekeepers and attacks against civilian targets,” the ICC Prosecutor’s Office said on June 25 in a press release headlined “No impunity for crimes committed in Georgia.”
During the visit on June 22-24, the ICC Prosecutor’s Office delegation met with Georgia’s chief prosecutor, the Chairman of Supreme Court, the State Minister for Reintegration, senior officials from the Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Defence, as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations.
“We appreciate the co-operation of the Georgian authorities,” ICC Prosecutor said. “It is mandatory that those most responsible for serious crimes be investigated.”
His office said that both Georgia and Russia were providing “substantial information” on their respective national investigations. The delegation from ICC Prosecutor’s Office paid its previous visit to Georgia in November, 2008 and to Russia in March, 2010.