International Criminal Court: Prosecutor Karim Khan's Announcement on the Request for Arrest Warrants in the Situation in Georgia
Grace ATALUI MOKANGO
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
In a statement dated 10 March 2022, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan applied under Article 58 of the Rome Statute to issue arrest warrants in the pre-trial phase. The declaration states that the application for the arrest warrants is given against :
- Lt.-Gen. Mikhail Mayramovich MINDZAEV (alternatively spelled as "MINDZAYEV"), appointed in 2005 as the Minister of Internal Affairs of the de facto South Ossetian administration until at least 31 October 2008;
- Gamlet GUCHMAZOV (alternatively spelled "Hamlet" and "KUCHMAZOV"), Head of the Preliminary Detention facility of the de facto Ministry of Internal Affairs of South Ossetia at the time of events; and
- David Georgiyevich SANAKOEV, de facto Presidential Representative for Human Rights of South Ossetia, also known as "Ombudsman" at the time of events.
Following a thorough, impartial, and objective investigation since 2016, the Prosecutor maintains that based on the evidence collected and assessed, there are reasonable grounds to believe that these three individuals bear criminal responsibility for war crimes committed in and around the territory of South Ossetia, Georgia, between 8 and 27 August 2008. The Prosecutor continues that the evidence gathered shows that the majority of the civilian population was illegally confined in unsanitary and dangerous conditions, insulted, beaten, tortured, and humiliated by the South Ossetian armed forces in the context of an armed conflict.
The next step will be the approval or non-approval of the issuance of the arrest warrants requested by the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor assures that if the Pre-Trial Chamber approves this request, he will make every effort to apprehend these three individuals and bring them before the Court.
Sources and further reading
International Criminal Court, ICC Prosecutor, Karim A.A. Khan QC, announces application for arrest warrants in the Situation in Georgia, Statement, ( 10 March 2022), from : https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=20220310-prosecutor-statement-georgia&ln=fr
International Criminal Court, Public redacted version of ‘’Prosecutor’s application pursuant to article 58 for warrants of arrest against Mikh,Office of the prosecutor, ( 10 March 2022), from : https://www.icc-cpi.int/CourtRecords/CR2022_01944.PDF
International Criminal Court, Annexes of the request, Office of the Prosecutor, ( 10 March 2022), from: https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/record.aspx?docNo=ICC-01/15-34-Red
International Criminal Court, Situation in Georgia, ICC-01/15, from : https://www.icc-cpi.int/georgia