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Written by   
, 24 2004

'Noviy vestnik'

Relatives of 'Nord-Ost' victims obtain access to 'secret' materials

Svetlana Gubareva, who has been searching for the truth about the tragedy in the Dubrovka theater where her daughter Sasha and American fianc Sandy Booker perished, has celebrated her first victory. Her letter to the president of Kazakhstan helped her gain access to 'declassified documents' from the 'Nord-Ost' investigation.

Svetlana Nikolaevna's open letter to Nursultan Nazarbayev was published on the pages of Noviy Vestnik last summer. Theformer hostage asked the head of her country questions which the Russian authorities left answered: about the organizers of the terrorist attack on the Dubrovka theater, and their financing, about the legality of the special forces use of the narcotic substance, and many others. Ananswer came from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which offered 'every kind of assistance in transferring the necessary documents to competent Russian authorities via diplomatic channels'. Taking advantage of this, Svetlana Gubareva and her attorney Karinna Moskalenko composed a statement, which they sent to the Russian court system by way of the Kazakhstan foreign ministry.

It has been almost a year that the former hostages have been seeking to have declared illegal a resolution by the Moscow district attorney's office not to seek criminal charges against medics and special forces officers. Until now, however, no one had actually seen the resolution. They were persistently denied access, and so they assumed that the most important secret must be concealed there.

Finally a breakthrough occurred. Two halls of the Zamoskvoreche court simultaneously ruled to allow access to the 'secret' resolutions of the Moscow district attorney. One judge forced the DA to act in the interests of the family of deceased hostage Igor Finogenov, while another ruled in favor of Karaganda resident Svetlana Gubareva.

In reality, however, the 'secret' materials proved to be but empty shells. They contained the same information that had been discussed in court, which the district attorneys office had stated from the very beginning: no one was guilty of the deaths of 129hostages. Not the terrorists who seized the theatrical center, not the physicians who arrived at the scene too late, nor officers of the various law-enforcement agencies who had made use of the 'unidentified' gas. No one.

Nonetheless, attorneys found many contradictions in the declassified papers, and they seized upon them.

The first resolution uses 70pages to excuse the special services from prosecution, but at the same time excuses them for destroying every last terrorist. A mass of questions remains: the beginning of the document mentions 52bandits, but the end of the discussion deals with only 40.

The second decision, which intercedes on behalf of the physicians, reveals even more such obvious discordances. There it states that the ambulances arrived at the theatrical to center more than two hours after the gas was released. There were several eye witness accounts about how, while the ambulances waited, certain unidentified doctors shined flashlights into the victim's eyes, loosened their lower clothing, and gave injections in their buttocks. Novaya Gazeta reviewer Anna Politkovskaya, after studying the DA's resolutions, wrote her suspicions: Whocould have been shining these flashlights? The military chemical officers, who were continuing their experiment on the still living victims, hastily injecting them with an antidote known only to themselves? Was this hour used to conceal traces of the poison they used?

Svetlana Gubareva's attorney Karinna Moskalenko found new trump cards to use in her quest to have the resolutions declared illegal. If she succeeds, then the victims will demand charges brought in accordance with Article 286of the Russian criminal codex, 'exceeding official authority', as well as Article 109, 'causing death through negligence'.

Svetlana Gubareva has once again left for the United States. Her American friends asked her to visit them in Oklahoma, the native land of Sandy Booker.

They didn't cook this porridge in vain! wrote Svetlana Nikolaevna in her email letter to Noviy Vestnik. My life is the same as before, Ihave only one plan to obtain the truth. One can say that the Russian authorities made a zombie out of me. By the way my answers finally came from the Russian Attorney General's office (our Attorney General sent them my letter), and they wrote that as far as the post-mortem examination (the conclusions of the Russian forensic medical experts about the death of Svetlana Gubareva's 12-year-old daughter Sasha author) they never received any inquires from me. Such wonders happen now and then Iget answers from the Attorney General to questions they say Inever asked.

I met a few 'American wives'. Their lives are various, depending on what they expected when they got married. I know many very happy couples. Do they ever know how to party! They barely drink, but relax very nicely. I've seen and learned a lot of interesting things, but I'll certainly return to Karaganda!

Natalya Fomina

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