Russia closes probe into murder of last tsar Nicholas II

January 15th, 2009 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Jan 15 (RIA Novosti) Russian investigators said Thursday they had closed their probe into the 1918 murder of the last tsar and his family, and the identification of their remains discovered in the Urals in 1991 and 2007. The Investigation Committee said the human remains discovered near Yekaterinburg, where Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, their five children and several servants were shot by Bolsheviks, were found to belong to the Romanovs, the second and last imperial dynasty which ruled Russia from 1613 to 1917.

“A series of anthropological, forensic, genetic and historical studies and tests have been conducted, which provided conclusive proof that the remains belong to Emperor Nicholas II, his family members and servants,” the committee said on its website.

The committee said it was also closing the investigation into the murder of the Romanovs due to the expiry of the period of limitations and the death of those believed responsible for the shooting of the family.

The investigation was opened in 1993 after the bodies of the Romanov family members, except for those of Nicholas’s heir, Grand Duke Alexei, and Grand Duchess Maria, were found in 1991.

It was closed after the remains were authenticated and buried in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg in 1998, although the forensic examination results have been repeatedly challenged since then.

In July 2007, the remains of a boy and a young girl believed to be Alexei and Maria were found near the original burial site outside Yekaterinburg, leading to the resumption of the inquiry.

Tests conducted by a dozen institutions in Russia and abroad proved the 1991 and 2007 remains belonged to members of the same family.

The Russian Orthodox Church, which canonized the murdered Romanovs but called the 1998 burial “a political show”, responded cautiously to the latest test results, calling for a broader scientific and church discussion.

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