The court said on Monday, Apr. 16, it had concluded that the executions of Polish prisoners of war were a war crime, as the humane treatment of POWs and the ban on murders were a part of the conventional international law the Soviet authorities were compelled to observe. The judgment was made on the lawsuit of 15 family members of the Polish citizens executed in the USSR in 1940.
Although war crimes have no statute of limitations, no new evidence was found in the period since the ratification of the Human Rights Convention to compel the Russian authorities to reopen the case, the court said.
The court said that the hearing of a complaint of the breach of Article 2 of the Convention (murder investigations) would go beyond its area of activity.
The responsibility for murders of Polish prisoners of war in 1942 exceeds the case limits, it said.