Russian court exonerates last czar

Oct. 1, 2008 at 9:02 AM
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MOSCOW, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Russia's top court has admitted that the 1918 execution of Czar Nicolas II and his family by the Bolsheviks was unlawful.

The Supreme Court's appeals panel ruled Wednesday that the czar, his wife and five children were victims of political repression when they were shot to death in the basement of a home in Yekaterinburg, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Descendants of the Romanovs have insisted for years that the czar and his family be classified as victims of an unlawful state-sponsored execution.

Wednesday's ruling upholds an appeal from the Grand Duchess Maria who heads the Russian Imperial House in exile.

"We wanted Russia's image to be that of a state governed by the rule of law and Russia to demonstrate that it condemns its bloody past and has embarked on a new path of development," German Lukyanov, attorney for the grand duchess, told RIA Novosti.

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