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Nord-Ost: The Story of Sandy Booker
Hello Lyudmilla, I was in Moscow 48 hours before the Dubrovka siege. I was no different than Sandy, except I didnt bu...
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author thad beyer

I wished to attract attention to the tragedy
Written by /Marina Funtikova   
, 20 2006
Article Index
I wished to attract attention to the tragedy
Page 2


The book 'Nord-Ost' contains the articles of journalists who, in the opinion of the former hostages and relatives of deceased hostages, were very effective in bringing the case to light. Notjust the nightmare in the theatrical center, but the courtroom drama as well. During this court cases relatives who had lost their loved ones were looking for answers to many questions. Among these, why did their loved ones die?
Svetlana Gubareva also dined on judicial pie. Someof the events in court were observed and reported by Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya. Weprovide here an portion of one of her articles, published in NG in April of 2004.
On April 15th, in the Zamoskvoreche regional court of Moscow, a few dozen people waited in Hall 203for the miracle of Detective Kalchuk's appearance. Vladimir Ilych Kalchuk is Lord and God to the former 'Nord-Ost' hostages and the family members of those who perished during the terror attack. For30 months, ever since the terrorists seized the Moscow theater, Kalchuk has been chief of the investigative brigade for the Moscow district attorney's office. Heholds in his hands the true facts about the tragedy, and the victims awaited and still await any information he can provide concerning the deaths of their lovedones.

But Kalchuk is closed fellow, and hard to get to. There are hundreds of stories about him, about how he insulted a few of the 'Nord-Ost' people and would not share any facts with them. Atlong last, Judge Irina Vasina of the Zamoskvoreche court examined a complaint of 'investigative inaction', which was brought by former hostage Svetlana Gubareva, who lost her 13-year-old daughter Sasha and American fiance Sandy Booker at Dubrovka. Detective Kalchuk was officially summoned for questioning in the course of the lawsuit.

Participants: Svetlana Gubareva plaintiff. Karina Moskalenko and Olga Mihailova her lawyers. Representative of the Moscow District Attorney's Office Yelena Levshina. Judge Irina Vasina.

Moskalenko: Did you or other members of the investigative group receive Gubareva's petition?
Kalchuk: I dont remember. There were so many papers. Iremember the plaintiff. (He reads the petition handed to him by Moskalenko.) Yes, Isaw something like this.
Moskalenko: Gubareva states that you are displaying inaction in the case, that there were concrete questions in the petition, to which she received no answers.
Kalchuk: Thats her problem. Ibelieve that my answers resolved everything.
Moskalenko: But from your answers it's still unknown how and where Gubarevas two loved ones died.
Kalchuk: One. Booker was nobody to her, so far as Iknow.
Gubareva: Two!
Kalchuk (laughing): Plaintiffs always have these questions. Its always 'invite in anyone you can.
Moskalenko: Im simply repeating those questions that Gubareva asked you in her petition. These are very important to her. Whenand where did death come to Letyago Alexandra? Inthe hospital? Inthe concert hall?"
Kalchuk (irritated, changing to 'blatnoi' criminal intonation): Okay, we wont screw around. Iget a lot of these. Well, where did death come to Letyago? Ah Idont remember.
Moskalenko: But Gubareva states that you didnt even find out the place of her daughter's death. Agree that this question, like the others, should not remain unanswered for her. Another question: did the investigative group find any substance, which was used by the special forces during the storming (of the theater)?
Kalchuk: I won't answer you anymore. I'm getting up and will be silent.
Moskalenko: The seventh question in Gubarevas petition to you was: why were doctors called to Sandy Booker at 8:30, that is, two and a half hours afterwards?
Kalchuk (interrupting): I wont answer.
Moskalenko: But you determined the circumstances of the victims deaths?
Kalchuk: I don't want to talk about this anymore.
Moskalenko: But youre in court. Youwon't answer the judge?
Kalchuk (openly rude): No, Iwont answer.
Moskalenko, turning to the judge: I ask that you provide an answer to the question, which is especially important to Gubareva. Howdid Sandy Booker die?
Judge: And how may Iprovide?
Kalchuk (smiling and muttering to the judge): That means force me to talk.
Judge to the lawyer: I don't understand the point of irritating the investigator here. Whyare you irritating him?
Moskalenko: People require concrete answers to questions as to why their loved ones perished.
Kalchuk (though the judge did not address him): I wont speak anymore you wont get a thing out of me.
The judge gives Gubareva permission to ask a question. Gubareva: You have no doubts about the experts findings on the gas?
Kalchuk: Youre trying to draw me into discussion so that the media can write: theyre just sitting on their butts. Iwas called in so that they could make fun of me.
Gubareva: Dont even think that Iget satisfaction by returning over and over again to the circumstances of my loved ones deaths.
Kalchuk: I wont come back. AndI wont answer. Anddont bother sending me your questions.
This was a typical Russian judicial action, and as always merciless to its victims. Eventhough, like the investigation, it was supposed to have been of some use to the victims.

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