15 January 2009, 11:09
Probe into death of Emperor Nicholas II family closed (updated)
Moscow, January 15, Interfax - The Investigative Committee within the Russian prosecution system has completed an investigation into the circumstances of the death and burial of members of the family of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II.
"On January 15, 2009, the Investigative Committee's Main Investigations Department shut down an investigation under a criminal case dealing with the circumstances of the death and burial of Russian Emperor Nicholas II, members of his family, and people from his retinue, who were shot in Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918, due to the expiration of the statute of limitations and the death of the individuals who committed this premeditated murder," the Investigative Committee said.
The remains of Tsesarevich (Crown Prince) Alexey Nikolayevich Romanov and his sister, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna Romanova, were discovered near Yekaterinburg in July 2007.
"In connection with this, Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Bastrykin reopened a criminal case, which had earlier been initiated into the finding in July 1991 of the remains of Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna Romanova, [their children] Olga, Tatyana, and Anastasia Romanov, and also people from their retinue, including doctor Yevgeny Sergeyevich Botkin, maid Anna Stepanovna Demidova, butler Aloizy Yegorovich Trupp, and cook Ivan Mikhailovich Kharitonov, who were shot in the Special House (Ipatyev House) in Yekaterinburg early on July 17, 1918," it said.
The criminal investigation involved "a broad range of anthropological, forensic medical, genetic, and historical studies, which have proven convincingly that the remains are of the members of Emperor Nicholas II's family and people from his retinue," the Investigative Committee said.
"The historical studies give grounds to affirm categorically that the remains discovered in the burial sites in 1991 and in 2007 are of the members of the royal family and their servants," it said.
The investigation also established that an official decision to execute former Emperor Nicholas II was made by the presidium of the Urals Council, of which the local authorities notified the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTsIK) and the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom), the top government bodies in Russia at the time, which did not officially sanction the execution themselves, the Investigative Committee said.