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Moscow court refuses to clear name of Russia's last tsar

MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow district Monday declined to review a ruling refusing to rehabilitate the name of Tsar Nicholas II.

The Tverskoi District Court handed down a ruling May 25 that ignored the request of Great Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, the head of the Russian Imperial House, to recognize Russia's last monarch as a victim of the Bolshevik repression and clear him of all political charges.

Lawyer German Lukyanov, who represents the Russian Imperial House in exile and had asked the court to pass a follow-up judgment on another suit filed by Maria Vladimirovna, said the latest hearing was held without the involvement of representatives of the Prosecutor's Office, and added that he considered the court ruling illegal.

"We are definitely going to appeal the Tverskoi Court ruling," he said.

The Russian Imperial House has claimed that Nicholas II and his immediate family were killed following the Bolshevik revolution on government orders, and that their killing should consequently be classified as state-sponsored execution of political enemies.

But the court ruled May 25 that the killings were a criminal act of murder, and "there is no credible evidence proving the existence of any official decisions by judicial or non-judicial bodies to exert politically motivated repression" against the tsar or his family members, thereby rejecting Lukyanov's appeal against an earlier decision by the Prosecutor General's Office that refused to exonerate the royal family.

"The Russian Imperial House will use all the opportunities provided by the Russian Constitution to protect the law, justice, its own honor and the good faith of the Romanov dynasty," Lukyanov said earlier. "The Prosecutor General's Office is unwilling to take into account the existence of legal documents submitted to it from archives of the FSB [Federal Security Service]."

He said the documents made it quite clear that Nicholas II and his immediate family, including his wife and their two children, had been executed by firing squad.

"These documents have been furnished by state bodies, and the fact that they are being neglected indicates a crisis in the rule of law in the country," Lukyanov said.

Previously, Lukyanov accused the prosecutors of double standards for refusing to recognize the killing of the emperor as a state-sponsored execution, citing a lack of evidence, while exonerating Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg based on the mere fact of his arrest in Hungary in 1945.

The remains of Nicholas II, killed 1918 outside the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, were buried in 1998 with honors in the former imperial capital, St. Petersburg. The Russian Orthodox Church canonized him two years later.

Headed by Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, a daughter of the last grand duke in the Romanov dynasty, the Romanov Family Association advocates the revival of the Russian throne, suggesting that a new monarch should be elected by general vote of the Russian people, not necessarily from the Romanov-Gottorp line.

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