26/10/2014 10:00
RIA Novosti

Russia

Russian Supreme Court upholds closure of Katyn massacre case

15:55 29/01/2009
MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Supreme Court upheld on Thursday the closure of the investigation into the so-called Katyn case, in which several thousand Polish POWs were executed in western Russia's Katyn forest in 1940.

The court thereby turned down an appeal by relatives of the victims.

Over 20,000 Polish officers, police and civilians taken prisoner during the 1939 partitioning of Poland by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were massacred in the Katyn forest, as well as in prisons and other locations, by the NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB.

The judge said the 1926 Criminal Code of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic should be applied to the crime committed in 1940. Under this code, prosecution cannot be administered if more than ten years have passed since the crime.

In his ruling, the judge also noted that the case was closed in September 2004 because any possible indictees were long dead.

Another reason given for not reviewing the case was that only 22 POWs have been identified from the 1,803 sets of remains discovered, and no kinship to the suitors has been established.

Anna Stavitskaya, who represents relatives of the victims, said they would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Strasbourg-based court last year received pleas from two Poles demanding that Russia recognize those killed in the Katyn massacre as war crime victims, and grant access to documents on the massacre.

The Soviet Union for a long time accused Germany of executing the Polish prisoners. However, in 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev officially admitted that Soviet secret police were responsible for the massacre.

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RIA NovostiRussian Supreme Court upholds closure of Katyn massacre case

15:55 29/01/2009 Russia's Supreme Court upheld on Thursday the closure of the investigation into the so-called Katyn case, in which several thousand Polish POWs were executed in western Russia's Katyn forest in 1940. >>

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