Katyń: Moscow City Court refuses to grant “Memorial” the right of app
This is already the second court which has rejected “Memorial”s right to a court appeal against the decision of the Chief Military Prosecutors Office of the Russian Federation which has refused to consider applications for rehabilitation of the victims of the Katyń Massacre.
Since May 2006 the International Society “Memorial” has been seeking recognition that the Polish prisoners of war and prisoners executed without trial by the NKVD in April and May 1940 on the decision of the Soviet Politburo on 5 March 1940 were victims of political repression.
At the first stage applications were sent to the Chief Military Prosecutors Office calling for the rehabilitation of 16 people – Polish prisoners of the Kozielsk and Ostashkovsk Prisoner of War Camps, shot in Katyń, near Smolensk and in Kalinin (now Tver).
In ten letters from 7 November 2006 the Chief Military Prosecutors Office [CMPO] refused to consider the substance of these applications. On 6 February “Memorial” filed ten applications to have the answers from the CMPO declared unlawful with the Khamovnychesky District Court in Moscow. “Memorial” asked that the court order CMPO to comply with the Law of the RF “On the rehabilitation of victims of political repression”, by either issuing rehabilitation documentation or drawing up a conclusion on their refusal to grant this and to send it to the court, as required by Article 8 of the Law.
Over three days on 15, 16 and 19 February 2007, the Khamovnychesky District Court turned down these applications..
On 9 March 2007 “Memorial” lodged ten private appeals against this ruling with the Moscow City Court.
On 22 May 2007 the court panel on civil cases of the cassation section of the Moscow City Court, made up of presiding judge Irina Aleksandrovna Ionova, and judges Yelena Andreyevna Braginskaya and Dmityry Mikhailovich Kharitonov (reporting judge) examined and rejected “Memorial”s appeals.
The Moscow City Court judges thus confirmed the position taken by the Khamovnychesky District Court, this being that the International Society “Memorial”, being a civic organization, while having the right to apply to State bodies to have individuals declared victims of political repression, does not have the right to appeal through the courts against refusals to grant such applications!
“Memorial” is convinced that this position is in contravention of Article 46 of the Russian Federation Constitution which stipulates the right to a court appeal against the decisions and actions (inaction) of the State authorities and public officials.
This right is enjoyed by civic associations as the Constitutional Court has on several occasions confirmed.
See the links below for more information about the Katyń Massacre and the position taken by the