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City Court Cancels Investigation Into Theater Siege

The Moscow City Court on Wednesday annulled a decision by the city's Lefortovo District Court obliging investigators to open a criminal case against officials who allowed violations to be committed during the Dubrovka Theater raid 10 years ago.

Last month, the Lefortovo court ruled in favor of Igor Trunov, a lawyer who appealed investigators' decision not to open a criminal case against government officials linked to the hostage-rescue operation in October 2002.

The court's decision Wednesday means that the Levortovo court must now rule again on whether to open a criminal case over the alleged violations, the Rapsi legal news reported Wednesday.

Investigators have repeatedly said that they see no grounds for such a case.

During the 2002 hostage-rescue operation, law enforcement officers raided the Dubrovka Theater in southeast Moscow, where 40 Chechen militants took more than 900 hostages during a performance of the "Nord Ost" musical.

One hundred and thirty people died during the three-day siege and the rescue operation that followed.

In 2011, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russian security forces had committed violations during the siege and ordered the government to pay 1.3 million euros ($1.7 million) in damages to 64 Dubrovka victims.

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