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The Strasbourg Court satisfied only partially the lawsuit of the relatives of the Polish officers, who were executed in Katyn

April 17, 2012, 15:19 UTC+3
The European Court of Human Rights said in the verdict that the war crimes do not have the statute of limitations
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On Monday, the European Court of Human Rights did not pass a verdict over the appeal from the relatives of the Polish prisoners of war, who were executed in Katyn in 1940, but were not identified yet. The court ruled that Russia violated the rights of the relatives of the victims of the Katyn tragedy, not producing the documents they applied for. But the court did not find any reasons to resume the investigation.

The relatives complained over the inefficient investigation of this criminal case by Russian authorities and filed two appeals in the European Court of Human Rights in 2007 and 2009, the Kommersant daily recalled. The investigation was terminated in 2004 over the death of those guilty. In 2010 Russian authorities made public the electronic copies of the documents about the executed Polish officers, passing the materials of the Katyn criminal case to Poland. The European Court of Human Rights said in the verdict that the war crimes do not have the statute of limitations. Meanwhile, the Strasbourg Court did not find any new evidence, which could shoulder responsibility on Russian authorities to resume the investigation. Thus, the court ruled that the appeal about Article2 of the European Convention of Human Rights (investigation of murder) violated is beyond its jurisdiction. The court did not satisfy the claims of the relatives for ‘fair’ compensations.

“Russia does not plan to appeal the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights over the Katyn criminal case,” the head of the Russian plenipotentiary representative’s office in the European Court of Human Rights Andrei Fedorov stated. The court turned down the demand to resume the investigation and the verdict is not needed to appeal, he said.

The court ruled that Russia violated the rights of the relatives, not producing the documents to them and making the living relatives to determine the fate and the burial place of their executed relatives without the assistance of the authorities, the Vedomosti daily noted. The court did not find legitimate reasons to classify the ruling to terminate the criminal case.

The refusal to classify the NKVD documents and the materials of the investigation by the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office can be taken as the fact that the Russian top officials equalized the interests of the country with the interests of a clan, which emerged in the organization, which does not want to get distant from the NKVD crimes, the newspaper cited the chief of the Polish program in the human rights organization Memorial Alexander Guryanov as saying. “They believe that any attempts to denounce these actions threaten the interests of their clan,” he underlined.

 

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