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Russian tsarist Romanov family seeks exoneration


MOSCOW, March 30 (RIA Novosti) - The Imperial House of the Romanovs is to submit a request for the exoneration of the tsar's family members, who were killed along with the Russian royal family, the Romanov chancellery director told reporters on Monday.

Alexander Zakatov said on Friday, Grand Duchess Maria Romanov, a distant Romanov family member who resides in France, had sent a request to the Prosecutor General's Office in Russia to look into the possibility of exonerating members of the tsarist family who had been repressed for having ties with the royal family.

"Most of the Romanov family members have been exonerated," Zakatov said. "We are now waiting for a decision on [accepting additional] requests from the Prosecutor General's Office, and after that we will resubmit documentation on other people who shared the same agonizing end as the members of the tsarist family."

Tsar Nickolas II, his wife, their four daughters and son, and several servants, were shot dead by the Bolsheviks in a basement in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg in the early hours of July 17, 1918. The Romanovs were canonized in 2000, and are buried in St. Petersburg's Peter and Paul Cathedral.

Currently the Prosecutor General's Office is considering an exoneration request for Prince Mikhail, who was exiled to the Urals and shot in June 1918, as well as Princess Yelena and Prince Sergei. The request also concerns blood relatives of Nicholas II - princes Ioann, Konstantin and Igor - who were arrested and thrown alive into an abandoned well in Sverdlovsk.

The Russian Imperial House in exile has sought since 2005 to have the Romanov family exonerated as victims of political repression. Grand Duchess Maria Romanov, who heads the House, insists the killings were a state-sponsored execution rather than murder. She has previously tried to have her son, Tsar Nicholas I's great-great-grandson, Dmitry Romanov, reinstated as the Russian tsar.

Russia's judiciary has rejected the demands saying the Romanovs never faced any formal charges before being executed by the Bolsheviks.

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