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26 Sep, 2007 11:15

Last Tsar's family denied rehabilitation

Russia's Prosecutor General has ruled out rehabilitation for the late Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family, who were slaughtered by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

The Romanov's descendants went to court claiming that the murder amounted to political repression. If they'd won the case, the family could have been judicially rehabilitated.

But the Prosecutor saw no grounds for the claim as there was no trial and no accusations were officially made.

However, distant relatives of the Romanovs have repeatedly appealed to the Prosecutor General’s office.

In 2006 the murder of the Tsar's family was examined as a criminal case.

Had the royal family been legally rehabilitated, their descendants could have claimed the inheritance.

“With Russia on the brink of a civil war, Nicholas was just a political enemy. And he was killed by the authorities. But there was no proof that Lenin himself gave the order to kill him.  Apparently it was the decision of the local authorities – the Ural Soviets – which was de facto approved by the central power. But there was no trial and no accusations had been formally made against Nicholas and his family,” Historian Aleksandr Sirin commented.

Back in 2000 Tsar Nicholas II and his family were made saints and martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church.  They were reburied with honours in Saint Petersburg in 1998, but the question of their judicial rehabilitation remained open until now.

“Martyrs and saints don't need rehabilitation. From the point of view of the Church it is not necessary. The Church does not need it to change its attitude to the Romanov Family. They've been canonized. So for us they are Saints to whom the Church prays and honors for their heroic deed,” Mark Egorevsky, Moscow Patriarchy representative, said.