01 October 2008, 12:41
Court rehabilitates Emperor Nicholas II, royal family members (updated)
Moscow, October 1, Interfax - The presidium of the Russian Supreme Court has ruled to rehabilitate the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and the members of his family.
"The presidium of the Supreme Court has ruled to recognize Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov [Nicholas II], Alexandra Fyodorovna Romanova, Olga Nikolayevna Romanova, Tatyana Nikolayevna Romanova, Maria Nikolayevna Romanova, Anastasia Nikolayevna Romanova, and Alexey Nikolayevich Romanov as groundlessly repressed and rehabilitate them," a Supreme Court judge said in pronouncing the ruling.
The court so granted an appeal by lawyers for the Romanov royal family against an earlier court decision denying their rehabilitation.
The presidium ruled to invalidate an earlier determination by a Supreme Court panel, which found that Nicholas II and members of his family were not eligible for rehabilitation.
German Lukyanov, a lawyer for the Romanov royal family, insisted in the appeal that Nicholas II and his family members were subjected to reprisals based on social, religious, and political motives and that the Russian law stipulates that all victims of political reprisals are eligible for rehabilitation.
"Reprisals are coercion measures applied by government bodies invested with administrative powers to limit someone's rights and freedoms based on class, social, and religious motives," he said.
"The body that made the decision to execute the members of the royal family was invested with such powers," he said.
The prosecution said at the court that the rehabilitation of the members of the royal family would be unlawful.
"The members of the royal family were not arrested on political grounds and no court ruled to execute them. In addition, there is no information indicating that any court rulings were handed down in relation to the members of the royal family," he said.
The Russian Supreme Court denied the rehabilitation of Nicholas II and members of his family last November, thus upholding a decision by the Prosecutor General's Office that the emperor, his wife, and five children, who were shot in 1918, were not eligible for rehabilitation.
Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna Romanova, their children Alexey Nikolayevich, Olga Nikolayevna, Tatyana Nikolayevna, Maria Nikolayevna, and Anastasia Nikolayevna, and also the royal family's doctor, Yevgeny Botkin, maid Anna Demidova, cook Ivan Kharitonov, and butler Aloizy Trupp were shot in Yekaterinburg early on July 17, 1918.
The remains of the members of the royal family and their retinue were discovered buried near an old road not far from Yekaterinburg in July 1991. Expert analyses conducted as part of a criminal case pursued by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office confirmed that the remains were those of the above-mentioned people. The remains were buried at the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg on July 17, 1998.