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August 2008: Saakashvili's crime?2012-12-28 18:00
Georgia intends to name the politicians responsible for the war with Russia in August 2008, which resulted in the Georgian authorities have lost control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. From the 1st of January, a special team of the Ministry of Defense begins to study the circumstances of armed conflict. Experts consider justified the decision to begin a retrial, and they do not believe that based on the data received, President Mikheil Saakashvili will be charged.
The first investigation was conducted by a parliamentary commission in late 2008. President Saakashvili was summoned to give evidence. As a result, analysts have come to the conclusion that Georgia was not ready for war, and the blame for the outbreak of the conflict lay on Russia.
In an interview to the GTimes well-known Georgian political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze called substantiated the initiative of a second investigation. "The fact is that a particular situation has developed in Georgia: the main question is whether it was undertaken in the interests of the country or in the interests of Saakashvili's party", he explains. "The same is about the previous investigation - we must find out whether the errors of political leaders or military commanders had been hidden. And if there are such problems, it is not surprising that a retrial has been initiated".
Sakvarelidze doubts that based on the data received, President Mikheil Saakashvili will be charged. "I think the government will be very cautious in this matter and won't raise the sword of justice over the president", the expert said. "If the new government wanted to press charges, they would have already done it - there are many other reasons for this. Although the war, of course, is the most important of them - if the committee discovers the blame of Saakashvili".
However, the Georgian expert believes that the Defense Ministry will call up the specific names of those responsible for the war. At the same time, he says, many will depend on the direction of the investigation: the political or legal. "The "legal" script is more likely. I think the authorities will try to depoliticize the process, because the Western partners have warned them about the inadmissibility of political retaliation", Sakvarelidze concludes.
Defense Minister in 1992-1993, actual creator of the armed forces of Georgia Tengiz Kitovani in an interview to the GTimes admitted that he had not heard of a commission of inquiry into the war of 2008. "I'm now in Georgia, no one says a word about this. I have not heard any comments on this subject", says the ex-minister, living in Moscow since the early 2000s. When asked, whether he had returned to Georgia forever, Kitovani responds negatively, "No, I come back to Russia soon. I haven't seen my family for seven years; I've got an opportunity to see, so I've come".
As for the initiative of the Georgian Defense Ministry Kitovani notes that the Commission should first find out "why Saakashvili attacked the Russian peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia". "Twenty years ago we agreed with Russia to introduce peacekeepers to end the fighting there. And Saakashvili started the war. The only crime is Saakashvili's decision to unleash the war. There have been no other crimes", the expert says.