Russia’s last tsar, family members declared victims of repression

October 1st, 2008 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Oct 1 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s top court ruled Wednesday “to exonerate” the country’s last tsar and members of his family, executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918, to declare them as victims of political repression. The court’s appeals panel in its verdict upheld an appeal from Grand Duchess Maria, who heads the Russian imperial house in exile.

The Romanovs’ descendants had for years insisted that Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and their four daughters and son be classified as the victims of an unlawful state-sponsored execution.

Russian prosecutors and lower courts had repeatedly turned down the appeals, saying the Romanovs had never faced any formal charges before being shot dead in a basement of a merchant’s house in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

Speaking after the court session, counsel for the imperial house, German Lukyanov said: “We wanted Russia’s image to be that of a state governed by the rule of law, and Russia to demonstrate that it condemns its bloody past and has embarked on a new path of development.”

The remains of Nicholas II were reburied with honours in 1998 in the former imperial capital, St. Petersburg. The Russian Orthodox Church canonized him, his wife and four daughters and son two years later.

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