Author`s name Olga Savka

Foreigners To Sue Russian Government Over Hostage Crisis in Moscow Music Theatre

Foreign citizens who suffered as a result of the crisis demand a compensation

Four foreigners, who have lost their relatives as a result of the hostage crisis in October of 2002 in Moscow, are going to sue the Russian government. The suits total eight million dollars. Foreign citizens' lawyers are going to file a lawsuit at the Tverskoy Court of Moscow against the Russian government on Thursday. Lawyer Igor Trunov said that three suits were going to be filed by American, Ukrainian and Kazakh citizens. Those people lost their relatives are a result of the hostage crisis in the Moscow music theatre. Victims include a 13-year-old girl and her father, an American citizen.

The Russian government, the Finance Ministry, to be more precise, will act the defendant on the case. Lawyers motivated their suits with part 2 of paragraph 17 of the Federal Law "About the Struggle with Terrorism." This paragraph stipulates the compensation of a damage that was caused to foreign citizens as a result of a terrorist act.

After former hostages of the Nord Ost musical had their lawsuits dismissed at the end of April, foreigners' lawsuits look absolutely logical. Lawyer Igor Trunov dropped vague hints about some consultations last year. He said that his firm conducted consultations with former hostages of foreign nationalities. Here is the result of that work.

It is not going to be easy for the Russian justice system to brush foreigners aside. They know the law, and there is absolutely no need in any commotion, which might be caused if foreign citizens' suits are dismissed. The government does not need that at all, so one should look for a compromise.

The Russian government does not seem to be attentive when it comes to Russian citizens.  On April 29th, the Tverskoy Court of Moscow dismissed the suits from 20 Russian people, who lost their relatives in the hostage crisis. Another court of Moscow turned the suits down a day before as well. Former hostages asked for the compensation of $60 million from the Moscow city government. However, Moscow officials stated that compensations had already been paid to former hostages. Officials claimed that the moral damage was supposed to be compensated by the people, who caused it (dead terrorists that is). The chairman of the Moscow government at court stated: "The causal connection between the caused damage and the actions of the Moscow government has not been determined. The Moscow government can not act as a defendant on the case."

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