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  Monday, August 26, 2019
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A lawyer for descendants of Russia's former imperial family lodged an appeal Tuesday against prosecutors' refusal to exonerate Tsar Nicholas II
A lawyer for descendants of Russia's former imperial family lodged an appeal Tuesday against prosecutors' refusal to exonerate Tsar Nicholas II. The Russian Imperial House says Nicholas II and his immediate family were killed following the Bolshevik revolution on government orders, and that their killing should therefore be classified as state-sponsored execution of political enemies. But prosecutors have said the killings were a criminal act of murder and that "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. Lawyer German Lukyanov, representing the Russian Imperial House in exile, said the Prosecutor General's Office refusal to class the tsar and his family as victims of repression was not substantiated by reference to any specific regulatory act, and could not therefore be considered valid. The imperial family was executed by firing squad on July 17, 1918. The following day, the Bolshevik government and the Council of People's Commissars officially approved the execution. "These decisions have never been annulled and are still in force in Russia because the Russian Federation is considered a legal successor of the Soviet Union," the lawyer said. The court hearings have been scheduled for April 24, and the court ordered prosecutors to present their arguments or evidence against the legitimacy of the appeal before the session.
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