Relatives of Kursk submarine crew appeal to European Court

Publish date: January 28, 2005

The families of the crewmembers of the Kursk submarine which sank in the Barents Sea in August 2000 have filed an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported on January 20.

The agency cited Boris Kuznetsov, a lawyer representing the relatives of the dead sailors, as saying that the appeal had been filed in connection with the Russian courts’ refusal to launch an additional investigation into the tragedy.

In June 2004 the Moscow District Military Court refused to fulfil a request to start a new investigation into the Kursk submarine’s sinking. The court turned down Kuznetsov’s protests over the results of the expertise concerning the time of death of the crewmembers in the acoustic compartment and also the examination of the SOS signals.

The criminal case into the Kursk tragedy was stopped in July 2003 after a special commission ruled that the explosion on board the submarine was caused by a torpedo accident in the course of a training launch. The Kursk nuclear submarine sank on Aug. 12, 2000 in the course of large-scale naval exercises. All 118 crewmembers were killed in the disaster.