RealNews

Russian Ex-Hostages Hit Resistance

By the time Igor Trunov got to cramped Courtroom 28 one day last month, it was clear he had little chance. The Russian attorney had not been allowed to call witnesses in previous hearings. He had not been allowed to introduce evidence. The judge had gaveled his clients quiet when they tried to tell their stories, even teary-eyed mothers. TRUNOV’S LAWSUITS, filed on behalf of the victims of knock-out gas that Russian commandos used to end a hostage crisis in a Moscow theater last fall, were being tossed out one after another. And so now he broached the idea of a settlement. “Unfortunately, we’re not authorized to do that,” replied the state’s lawyer, a young woman in a pinstripe suit, who did not seem to consider this unfortunate at all. “Will you leave us your phone number so we can talk about it later?” The woman smiled. “No.” In today’s Russia, the state often does not feel the need to give out a telephone number, much less settle multimillion-dollar lawsuits against it. For many of the 793 hostages who survived the storming of the theater and for families of the 129 hostages who died from the government’s gas, the past nine months have been a medical, legal and bureaucratic ordeal. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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