44 Ex-Hostages to Sue Moscow Authorities for Compensation

Igor Trunov, a lawyer representing victims of the recent hostage crisis in Moscow, has announced that a further 16 law suits against the Moscow authorities are to be brought in Moscow's Tver Court today. At a press conference Trunov reminded journalists that 8 actions have already been brought and that a further 20 are currently being prepared. He said that all the suits will be combined into one case.

The lawyer believes that the assistance being provided by the Moscow authorities is inadequate. 'The victims have received 50 thousand roubles each, and the families of those who died have been awarded 100 thousand roubles (USD 3,100),' said Trunov. He also mentioned that the families of those who died in an explosion at a Moscow branch of McDonalds received 40 thousand roubles (USD 1,200) each.

The lawyer revealed that the law suits ranged from about USD 14 thousand to USD 1.5 million, although 'these figures are not binding for the court, which will decide how much compensation to award in each concrete case.' Trunov also said that he is planning to challenge the decision to hear the case in the Tver Court as 'there are doubts as to its independence.' He added that 'the Tver Court receives financial support from the Moscow authorities.' The lawyer said that the case will most likely be heard in the Moscow Regional Court.

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