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International Criminal Court monitoring events in Georgia, Prosecutor says

20 August 2008 – The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court confirmed today that his Office is analysing information related to alleged crimes committed in Georgia in recent weeks that fall under the Court’s jurisdiction.

Heavy fighting began earlier this month in South Ossetia between Georgian and South Ossetian forces, with Russian forces becoming involved there and in the separate region of Abkhazia and other parts of Georgia in the following days. The violence has uprooted almost 160,000 people in recent weeks.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said today that his Office is analying information alleging attacks on civilians in Georgia, which is a State Party to the Rome Statute that established the Court.

“My Office considers carefully all information relating to alleged crimes within its jurisdiction – war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide – committed on the territory of States Parties or by nationals of States Parties, regardless of the individuals or groups alleged to have committed the crimes,” he said.

The Office has been closely monitoring all information on the situation in Georgia since the outbreak of violence, including information from public sources, according to a news release from the ICC.

In addition, both the Georgian and Russian Governments have offered information to the Court on the situation. “The Office will proceed to seek further information from all actors concerned,” the news release added.

Other situations under analysis by the Office of the Prosecutor include Colombia, Afghanistan, Chad, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire.

The Office is currently conducting investigations in four situations – the Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Uganda, the Darfur region of Sudan, and the Central African Republic.

The ICC is the first independent, permanent court to investigate and prosecute persons accused of the most serious crimes, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, if national authorities with jurisdiction are unwilling or unable to do so.

 



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