Lawyer for Former Nord Ost Hostages Intends to Appeal to European Court This Week

Igor Trunov, lawyer for the former Nord Ost hostages, intends to appeal to the European court in Strasbourg this week. According to a Rosbalt correspondent, he made this announcement at a press conference in Moscow today.

On Wednesday February 26 the Moscow municipal court will consider an appeal against the ruling of the Tver court on the cases of three former hostages. Mr Trunov admits, however, that he does not expect the Moscow court to overturn the ruling.

He explained that 'all the Moscow courts are financed by the defendant - the Moscow government.' Therefore if the Moscow court does not rule in favour of the hostages he will immediately make an appeal to the European court in Strasbourg and the presidium of the Supreme Court in Russia. Mr Trunov said that he is more hopeful about the Supreme Court as 'it is independent and is not financed in any way by the Moscow government."

In Mr Trunov's opinion, the ruling of the Tver court was 'political and has no legal basis. The law says that victims of terrorist acts should receive compensation and the only question is how much this compensation will be. However the court assessed the situation and came to the conclusion that there is nothing about this in the law,' he said.

Mr Trunov added that 61 claims have already been made by former hostages and there are another 35 claims that he has not yet filed. 'There is no point in filing these claims until at least the first three claims have been successful,' he explained. He added that if the first claims are successful many more such claims will be made. He also said that at least one or two people approach him every day with similar requests but at the moment he is simply advising them to wait.