Russia searching for evidence of Georgia war crimes in South Ossetia

[JURIST] Alexander Bastrykin, chairman of Russia's Prosecutor General's Office, said Wednesday that his staff is collecting evidence [ITAR-TASS report] of war crimes allegedly committed by Georgian forces in the breakaway region of South Ossetia [BBC report]. European Union leaders are planning to meet in Brussels to discuss the conflict [AFP report] and UK Foreign Minister David Miliband said that action should be taken if country can substantiate the allegations. On Tuesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev [official website] ordered an end to military action [press release] in the region, but Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili [official website] said Wednesday that Russian troops had continued to advance [speech transcript].

Russian legislators on Monday adopted a measure calling for the establishment of an international tribunal [Itar-TASS report; JURIST report] charged with investigating allegations of genocide in the region, but Russia's Prosecutor General, Yury Chaika [Russiaprofile.org bio], later asserted that no such body is required [Interfax report] since any grievances could be resolved in the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. Also Monday, Georgia and Russia each accused the other of organizing mass civilian arrests and detentions [JURIST report]. Rights groups have warned that killings of civilians would constitute war crimes [JURIST report].

 

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