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1 Feb, 2010 09:42

Investigation into murder of Tsar’s family to be reopened

On March 19 the Basmanny court of Moscow will again take on the case of the murder of the family of Russia's last Tsar, Nicolas II.

After the current head of the former royal family, the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, filed a complaint following the closure of the case, it was reopened in February 2010.

In October 2008, Russia’s Supreme Court made a decision to rehabilitate the members of the Romanov royal family. It noted that the Tsar’s family were not victims of a crime, but were murdered by the decision of the state.

Last January, the investigative committee terminated the criminal case on the grounds that the perpetrators were already dead.

But according to the attorney for the imperial house of Romanov, German Lukyanov, the rulings contradict each other.

“The Russian Federation Supreme Court Presidium has ruled that the Romanovs were murdered on behalf of the state and the Investigation Committee thinks that the members of the Tsar’s family were killed by criminals,” he told Lenta.ru. “There are two incompatible decisions. They contradict each other. There must be a single understanding of the issue.”

Investigator Vladimir Solovyov believes that all members of the royal family, apart from Nicolas II, were killed by criminals.

“The documents I have studied show that Crown Prince Aleksey and Princess Maria couldn’t have been sentenced, as they were underage. So the ‘judges’ took an alternative decision, which wasn’t registered anywhere. That was a common practice at the time,” Solovyov told RIA Novosti.

He added that there are 23 other relatives of the Russian royal family around the world who didn’t complain after the case was halted.

Solovyov blames Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna for using the case to promote herself in Russia.

The Grand Duchess, who currently resides in Spain, has argued that the investigation should continue and demanded her acknowledgement as a party of interest.

The Romanov family and several members of their closest circle were shot dead at night on July 17, 1918, on the decision of the Soviet authorities.