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Russian Constitutional Court clears way for reconsideration of anti-Bolshevik leader's case

[JURIST] According to a Russian human rights lawyer, the Russian Constitutional Court has cleared the way for lower court reconsideration and possible exoneration of Admiral Alexander Kolchak, the "White Russian" leader of anti-Bolshevik forces in Siberia who was recognized by his supporters as the Supreme Ruler of Russia until he was captured by the Red Army and executed at the orders of Vladimir Lenin in 1920. Sergei Zuyev, who for some time has been campaigning on behalf of prominent Russians victimized by Soviet-era repression, told reporters that "Admiral Kolchak is an outstanding figure in the history of Russia. He was a legitimate ruler, an admiral and was murdered by the Bolsheviks without trial or an investigation." In 1999 a military court found no ground for exonerating Kolchak, and cited evidence of his complicity in "mass repressions of the peaceful population and Red Army soldiers"; that decision was upheld in 2003. The Cionstitutional Court, however, cited a 2000 ruling that said that the RSFSR penal code provison allowing courts with supervisory authority to examine a case "without notifying the defendant or his defense lawyers about the time and place of the court hearings" and "without ensuring the defendant’s right to clarify his position to the court" was unconstitional. Said Zuyev, "The case must now be reexamined in the presence of defense lawyers. We have sent to the Prosecutor-General’s Office a letter with a request to appeal against the Military court decision." From Russia, ITAR-TASS has more.

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