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Complaint by 95 victims made to European Court
Written by Коллегия адвокатов г. Москвы "ТРУНОВ, АЙВАР И ПАРТНЁРЫ"   
Четверг, 27 Февраль 2014

Attorney Igor Trunov, representing former hostages as well as relatives of hostages killed during the October 2002 Dubrovka theater hostage crisis, filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on behalf of 95 victims of the hostage-taking and subsequent attack with an unknown gas. They had not applied earlier because of the hope of a proper criminal investigation. Criminal investigation #229133, against the terrorists, is of a continuing character and still not formally completed. It has been suspended in connection with the search for a number of individuals whom investigators believe involved in the terrorist act.

No investigation into criminal negligence on the part of the authorities, or establishing the causes of death of the victims, has been conducted.  Thus, the victims did not receive effective legal remedy under the law.

The ECHR ruled (in decisions #18299/03 and #27311/03) that the rescue operation, which took place October 26th, 2002, was not been properly readied due to lack of information sharing between different services, that the evacuation (of injured hostages) began late, that there was a lack of proper coordination between different services at the scene and a the lack of adequate health care and medical equipment at the scene. The authorities did not take all necessary precautions to minimize the effect of the gas on the hostages by evacuating them as rapidly as possible and providing them with the necessary medical care. The formula and toxicity of the gas (used by the authorities during the hostage crisis) is also unknown. The ECHR concluded that the state had violated its positive obligation under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to life).

ECHR decree (Finogenov et al vs. RUSSIA, applications #18299/03 and #27311/03) ordered the authorities of the Russian Federation to conduct a proper investigation into the above circumstances, in part to establish the causes of death of the victims.

On July 2nd, 2012, counsel I. L. Trunov, in accordance with the ECHR decision in the 'Nord-Ost' case, filed a petition to institute criminal proceedings against officials on grounds set out in paragraph #40 of the complaint. On August 30th, 2012, Investigator Suprunenko refused to process the petition, and no procedural decisions where made based on it. On October 15th, 2012, Lefortovo District Court examined Attorney Trunov's complaint that the actions (or inaction) of the investigator were illegal.  On November 2nd, 2012, the Lefortovo Court granted I. L. Trunov's definition, but a higher court vacated this decision. On December 26th the Lefortovo court reexamined Trunov's complaint and again satisfied it, while Moscow Municipal Court again quashed it.  On February 27th, 2013, Lefortovo considered the complaint a third time, but refused to satisfy it. On April 3rd, 2013, the Moscow court left that decision unchanged. On January 31st, 2014, attorneys Trunov and Ayvar appealed to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Council of Europe in connection with the failure of carrying out a judgment of the ECHR.

At this time:
 — Criminal proceedings against the authorities for criminal negligence and a determination of the victims' causes of death have not been initiated, nor has a preliminary investigation been conducted.
 — Criminal investigation #229133, against the terrorists, is still incomplete.

The legal relations of a continuing nature maintain conditions of a violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The applicants have exhausted all methods and remedies available in the Russian Federation.

Preparation and collection of documents still concern the same group of victims of the 'Nord-Ost' terrorist act.

Bar Association of the City of Moscow, TRUNOV, AYVAR AND PARTNERS

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