On complaint of Georgian human rights defenders, the President of Georgia is to stand trial in Brussels. He will be tried for a crime against humanity, rigging presidential elections in 2007 and starting war with Russia in 2008.
The trial of President Saakashvili is to be opened this month in Belgium, whose legal system allows hearing cases of citizens from foreign countries. Those convicted of a crime are as a result banned from entering the Belgium territory, therefore are also denied access to EU and NATO institutions based in this country. Georgian human rights defenders count on publicity of the trial – and a condemnatory sentence – which would strip the incumbent President of power. “Considering the case of Mikheil Saakashvili, he most probably would not be found guilty, but the human rights activists will draw attention to these issues”, believes Yana Amelina, the Head of the Caucasus department at the Center for Eurasian and International Studies.
Thus far, international trials held in Brussels have been successful several times, for instance, Palestinians’ suing Ariel Sharon caused problems for the Israeli Prime Minister as a politician.
Translated by KD