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FSB: Poles shot in Katyn have not been legally rehabilitated due to lack of documents

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Dec. 3, 2011, 5:06 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine
There are not enough documents for legal rehabilitation of the victims of the Katyn Massacre, Vasily Khristoforov, the chief of the Federal Security Service (FSB) registration and archives department, told Interfax citing prosecutors and judicial bodies. The Katyn Massacre is a collective term meaning the execution of nearly 22,000 Polish citizens held in various camps and prisons of the Soviet security police NKVD in April and May 1940. The Soviet Union denied for decades that the Poles were killed by NKVD servicemen.

"Polish citizens shot on Soviet territory have been denied rehabilitation based purely on the fact that the FSB archives do not keep criminal files against them. The legal obstacle to their rehabilitation is exactly this one," Khristoforov said.

The law stipulates that, for a victim of reprisals to be legally rehabilitated, their criminal file is supposed to be forwarded from an archive to a prosecutor's office or to a court, he said.

"There are no such files on Polish citizens, as they were destroyed. This is the only obstacle today due to which prosecution agencies and courts cannot rule to rehabilitate the POWs who were shot," he said.

The Polish servicemen have already been rehabilitated politically, when the State Duma passed a statement calling the Katyn Massacre a crime of the Stalin regime, he said.

"The State Duma has assessed these events as a crime committed on the territory of the Soviet Union, saying that the top Soviet leadership made a decision on this and that Stalin is responsible for it. There is no other alternative here," Khristoforov said.
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