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Shifrina, Anna
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Written by   
, 05 2008

Dozens of newspapers in Russia have reacted to Mr Trunov's declaration of so-called secret proceedings that will examine lawsuits brought by the victims of the terror act at the Dubrovka theatrical center in Moscow.

In reality, the government of Russia has petitioned to keep confidential documents in the 'Nord-Ost' case (the reason terrorists could use this information in their terror attacks). However, Ms. Milichuk's letter discusses already submitted documents (I quote: documents, which were deposited with the Registry in connection with the above application). Thus, Mr. Trunov's conjectures (I quote Kommersant):

* on the readiness in the European Court to reveal the formula of the gas used during the special hostage liberation operation by the FSB to knock out the terrorists and their hostages,

* on revealing materials concerning total coverage of the airwaves in the vicinity of the terror act by the FSB in the course of preparing the special operation

* on how the Chekists will have to reveal at Strasburg the greatest secret of any of the world's secret servives the identity of their agents inside the terrorist group that prepared the terror act

has no basis whatsoever.

Especially disturbing are words about financial demands against the authorities as the main reason for the complaint to the ECHR. Forme the important matter is that the authorities acknowledge their guilt in the death of my family.

Mr. Trunov and company equated the decision of the court to a letter from the Secretariat stated that case materials should not be revealed. Thisreminds me of Samuel Clemon's words that rumors about my death are exagerated, if:

Firstly, the Court has not decided if it would even hold a hearing.

Secondly, a decision concerning confidential materials of a criminal case is normal and has no effect on open or closed case hearing procedures (Rule 33Openess of Court Trials).

Thirdly, the EC is not a higher authority with respect to the state judicial system, and the only casess examined by the court concern or those rights guaranteed by the human rights convention or its protocols, not a criminalcase.

The authorities, certainly, are being deceptive in asking the Court to close the hearing of case materials. Theyeven confuse the Court, which the following testifies:

1. Thesmall amount of material presented by the Russian government in the European Court comes from more than 120volumes, and has no information on methods used in suppressing terrorism that could subsequently be used in terrorist activities.

2. Thepresented materials also do not answer the main question brought by the plaintiffs on the violation of the right to life of their loved ones, since the materials contain no information on the composition of the substance that was used, or the quality and quantity of medical assistance provided to those relatives of the plaintiffs who perished during the course of the special operation.

3. Thecriminal case materials have already been introduced in open judicial hearings in Russia, during which journalists were present. These hearings were widely covered by the mass media. During these cases no need for confidentiality was stipulated.

4. Several books based on materials from the criminal case have been published, and two of these were introducted into the plaintiffs' application to the EuropeanCourt.

Thus, a substantial portion the materials regarding this crime is already openly available on web sites, in reviews on media outlets, and has been widely accessible before the Russian government requested confidentiality during case hearings in the EuropeanCourt.

It is not to be ruled out that the authorities, who for so long have expressed irritation towards the victims of 'Nord-Ost', but as yet do not dare to openly pursue them, now on receiving a ruling from the President of the Chamber will begin prosecuting the plaintiffs on legal grounds, supposedly for violating an EC decision, up to and including holding them to criminally responsible.

PS. Thistheme of keeping information from journalists who write about 'Nord-Ost' has already been brought up by me in my article, titled 'Under the spreading cranberry tree'. Abit later Iwill continuethis

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