Nord Ost victims accuse the Russian authorities of falsifying the facts


The defence lawyers for the victims of the Nord Ost disaster in Moscow are accusing the authorities of providing false information about the number of people who died during the rescue operation. A memorandum in which the Russian Federation answered questions put by the European Court of Human Rights states that of the 665 people taken to hospital, six people died, this coming to 0.9 percent. Lawyer for the victims Igor Trunov maintains that 71 people died.  At a press conference held on Sunday he stated that 10.8 % of all those taken to hospital had died. The memorandum meanwhile speaks of “the high level of efficiency of the medical measures taken”.

Co-chair of the civic organization “Nord Ost”, Tatyana Karpova pointed out that 25 percent of the children involved had died. In her view, “information about the high level of efficiency of the medical measures is not true”.

The victims’ lawyers plan to ask the Prosecutor’s investigation committee to consider initiating criminal proceedings against the officials who issued such responses. They are seeking “a check to discover whether there was fraud and falsification by a person holding an official position”.

Mr Trunov also asserts that the memorandum exaggerates the amount of explosives which the terrorists brought into the theatre complex on Dubrovka. He agrees with the data received from explosives experts in the FSB, and believes that the “figures given in the memorandum are significantly increased in order to justify the number of deaths.”

Ms Karpova mentioned that the memorandum gives a negative response to the European Court’s question as to whether it would have been possible to resolve the hostage crisis by peaceful means. It justifies this answer by alleging that the terrorists were highly experienced fighters and had taken part in terrorist acts since 1985. Ms Karpova maintains that this is not true since many of the terrorists were not yet legally adults. She says that not one professional negotiator took part in the talks with the terrorists which she maintains indicates that “the Russian Federation Government planned the use of force in advance.”

Ms Karpova called on all present at the press conference to take part in a gathering to mark the fifth anniversary of the tragic events in the theatre complex on Dubrovka. The Memorial gathering will take place in Moscow on Friday 26 October from 10.00 to 12.00 on Melnikova St, near the theatre centre.

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