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Supreme court upholds reopening of high-profile car crash probe

November 09, 2011, 18:02 UTC+3

The presidium of the Supreme Court upheld the opening of the criminal case over the road accident in Leninsky Prospekt in Moscow involving vice-president Anatoly Barkov

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MOSCOW, November 9 (Itar-Tass) — The presidium of the Supreme Court upheld the opening of the criminal case over the road accident in Leninsky Prospekt (Avenue) in Moscow involving LUKOIL vice-president Anatoly Barkov, the lawyer of the family of Olga Alexandrina, who was killed in the crash, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

"Today, the presidium of the Supreme Court granted the presentation by Supreme Court Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev, acknowledging the legitimacy of opening a criminal case over this road accident," lawyer Igor Trunov said.

The lawyer explained that the presentation concerns the resolutions by the Moscow City Court and the Tverskoi district court which earlier had denied the right to Alexandrina's relatives to open criminal proceedings because of the suspected culprit's death.

Russia's Constitutional Court ruled that the norms of the Criminal Procedure Code providing for dropping criminal proceedings in connection with the suspect's death without the consent of his close relatives - who insist on rehabilitation of the deceased person - do not conform to the Constitution, and ordered to introduce the proper changes to the Criminal Procedure Code.

Following this ruling, a case over the Leninsky Prospect car crash was opened on the strength of the statement by Alexandrina's father.

The road accident occurred in Leninsky Prospekt on February 25, 2010. A Citroen driven by Moscow region resident Olga Alexandrina collided with a Mercedes S-500 carrying LUKOIL vice president Anatoly Barkov.

Barkov was hospitalized.

The Citroen's driver and her passenger - Prof. Vera Sidelnikova - were killed in the crash. They worked in the Kulakov obstetrics research center. They were driving to work, when the road accident occurred.

The Investigation Committee later closed the probe saying Alexandrina had caused the crash. The probe was dropped due to the death of the injured partly.

Moscow police chief Vladimir Kolokoltsev said "in that road situation - when the surface was wet - the Citroen exceeded the speed limit and tried to change the far left line to the right where another car was driving."

"An eye-witness driving behind the Citroen said he had seen it skidding and driving into the lane along which Barkov's Mercedes was going. This resulted in a head-on collision. That's the end of the story. The probe is over," Kolokoltsev said.

He denied any pressure on the investigators.

Earlier reports said the VIP car passengers car had refused to take a polygraph test.

In October, 2010, the Moscow City Court upheld the decision to drop the criminal case.

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