Tuesday, February 10, 2009

EU War Inquiry Mission's Experts

EU-sponsored inquiry mission into the August war, which currently visits Tbilisi, apart of its chairperson, Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini and her two deputies consists of five military and legal experts.

Gen. Gilles Galet from France; Gen. Christophe Keckeis, the Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces in 2004-2007; Otto Luchterhandt from Germany, who is a professor at Hamburg University's Institute for East European Law; Anne Peters also from Germany - she is a professor of Public International Law at the University of Basel.

The group also includes Col. Christopher Langton, who has served in the British Army for 32 years. He has an experience of working in Georgia in the capacity of Deputy Chief of UN Observer Mission (UNOMIG).

In August, 2008 Col. Langton wrote an article on the Georgia-Russia war under the headline "Georgia's dream is shattered, but it only has itself to blame" in which he said: "None of the actors in this drama can claim to be right. Georgia acted disproportionately and unnecessarily and is now worse off than it was before... Russia invaded the territory of a sovereign state and used disproportionate and sometimes indiscriminate force - particularly air power."
Tagliavini's deputies are Uwe Schramm, a former German ambassador in Tbilisi and Marian Staszewski, a Polish diplomat with an experience of working in Georgia while serving in UNOMIG.

The group held series of meeting in Tbilisi on February 9, including with Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, and State Minister for Reintegration, Temur Iakobashvili.

"We have received a first version of list of questions, which the commission has at this initial stage. We had our opinion what issues should be added to these questions and we have reiterated our full readiness for cooperation," Temur Iakobashvili told journalists after the meeting. "We have nothing to hide; we believe in our truth."

He also said that the mission planned to visit breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well.


  1. Hello,

    we, my wife, our little two children and I (three of us being of German nationality) were shot by ossetian milita a little north of Gori. Will you publish this, if I gave you more information? Or is this just a site for anti-georgian-propaganda?


    Henning Tappe

  2. First of all, this is not an anti-georgian-propaganda site. Here are just facts about the August conflict.
    We will pubish this material, but why are you sure it was ossetian militia, not georgian or ankhazian or chechen or someone else and why are you sure it was militia and not simply bandits or gangsters?

  3. Hm, think yourself. We were driving with a car with a Georgian licence-plate.
    Secondly, there was a woman (in a red dress and with a little child on her arms) standing next to one of the shooters. Would you believe this was a Chechen woman? Or Georgians firing at Georgians?

    The incident happened north a Gori, a an exit of the "highway" running in the east-west direction.

    Of course, these people didn't introduce themselves... But they "asked" the next driver to give them the key to his car, then one of them shot a bullet in his head.

    It was a group of about 15 people. One of the shooters wore black shorts. No uniforms, as far (and quickly) we could see.

    I am pretty sure - there must quite a number of people who know about this incident. It happened on August 12 (the day of the ceasefire, when Sarkozy visited Tbilisi). It is well reported, that Ossetian militia went into Gori this and the following day.

    Greetings from Germany,


  4. Oh, by the way, the term "militia" is probably subject to interpretation. To my understanding, irregular fighters, trying to kill people "of the other side" are "militia". It is ok with me if you call them "bandits".

    So, will you publish this incident? Will you give help to find out who these people were? Honestly, I don't care if they'd be punished or not. This is not my aim or concern. I'm really thankful we survived. (It was VERY close.) I'd just want to understand why. Why they did this, what they thought, when they did it, where their hatred and cruelty came from (their experiences may-be during the days before). And I would like them to see my little children (5 and 1,5 years, who survived - thank God!).