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Nord-Ost Theatre Siege: Who Is Going To Answer For The Botched Rescue Mission?

16 October 2012 

Source: HRO.org (info

Moscow city & Moscow region  Victims of conflict  "Nord-Ost" 

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation refused today to bring a criminal case against officers and officials in charge of the storming of the Nord-Ost theatre as requested by Igor Trunov, the representative for the relatives of those who died during the siege at the Dubrovka theatre complex in October 2002. 

At the beginning of July, victims of the terrorist attack had accused officers and officials who were responsible for organising first aid to the victims of negligence, and lodged a request with the Head of the Investigative Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin to open a new criminal case. 

As Trunov reported on 15 October, he had requested that the investigation bring a criminal case regarding the inappropriate organisation of the rescue operation for the individuals that had been taken hostage on 23 October 2002 at the "Moskovsky Podshipnik" Cultural Centre. However, it transpires from the reply made by Major Crimes Investigator A.B. Suprunenko that the request to bring a case has been rejected.

Trunov disagrees with this decision and has lodged an appeal with the Lefortovo District Court in Moscow.

"I would like to request official acknowledgement of the actions (failure to act) of A.B. Suprunenko Major Crimes Investigator at Investigation Department No.1 of Directorate No.1 for the Investigation into Major Crimes (regarding crimes against the person and public safety) and Head of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Moscow, and namely his failure to examine an application to bring a criminal case and the answer he sent," said Trunov quoting his appeal.

So far no comment has been made about Trunov's appeal by anyone at the Investigative Committee.

In December 2011, the European Court of Human Rights bound Russia to pay compensation to the victims of the terrorist attack of October 2002. The ECHR consolidated the claims of the victims of the Dubrovka terrorist attack. Both of the complaints brought by the victims were lodged in 2004. 

The ruling of the European Court that was made in favour of the victims concerned violations of the right to life, the right to a fair judicial hearing and the right to effective protection and appropriate action on the part of the special services during the suppression of the terrorist attack. The victims demanded compensation for the violation of their rights.

The court ordered the Russian Federation to pay around 1.24 million Euros in favour of the 64 claimants, ranging from 9 to 66 thousand Euros per claimant.

On 23 October 2002, a group of fighters under the command of 23 year old Movsar Baraev took the audience hostage during a performance of the musical show "Nord-Ost". In exchange for their lives Baraev's group demanded the immediate cessation of military operations in Chechnya and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the republic. The fighters' demands were not satisfied. After almost three days security officials carried out an operation to free the hostages, during which, according to official figures, 130 people died and over 700 were injured. In addition the 40 fighters were also killed.

Source: Yulia Buslavskaya Kavkazsky Uzel [Caucasian Knot]
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