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Moscow City Court revokes decision to initiate proceedings on Nord-Ost

5 December 2012 

Source: (info

· Nord-Ost  · Access to justice

The issue of commencing criminal proceedings against officials who permitted violations to take place during the storming of the Dubrovka Theatre Complex is set to be reexamined in a court of first instance, reports, citing RIA Novosti. Moscow City Court has upheld the cassation appeal by the Public Prosecutor's Office against the ruling of Lefortovo district court compelling the Russian Investigative Committee to initiate proceedings.

On 2 November, the Lefortovo court had granted an appeal by the lawyer Igor Trunov against the Russian Investigative Committee's refusal to initiate criminal proceedings against the officials. "We have won this case: the court has granted the application, finding the refusal to initiate proceedings unlawful, and has ordered that the investigator rectify the violation," said Trunov at the time. On 12 November, the Moscow Prosecutor's Office filed an objection to the court's decision.

On 15 October, Trunov submitted a complaint to the Lefortovo court about the failure of the Russian Investigative Committee to consider his application. Earlier, the lawyer had asked the Investigative Committee to initiate criminal proceedings "on the concealment of information about circumstances posing a danger to human life or health; causing death by recklessness; the infliction of serious or moderate harm to health through negligence; and dereliction of duty by the officials who were in charge of providing first aid to the injured, transporting them to hospitals, and for the overall coordination of efforts to rescue people." "The investigator did not indicate in his letter what decision has been made regarding my application," the lawyer said in his complaint.

On 31 December 2002, an analogous application submitted by Boris Nemtsov to initiate criminal proceedings had been rejected. This decision was made due to "the absence of elements of a crime in the actions of those officials responsible for providing medical assistance to those among the former hostages seized in the Moskovsky Podshipnik Cultural Centre", stated the Russian Investigative Committee. The Nord-Ost NGO, which brought relatives of the dead and injured hostages together, is seeking an impartial investigation into the terror attack and the circumstances surrounding the hostage rescue operation.

In December 2011, the European Court of Human Rights ordered the Russian authorities to pay the 64 victims of the hostage taking at the Dubrovka theatre between 9,000 and 66,000 euros.