Descendant of last czar pushes Russia to admit mistake
By GRAEME SMITH
Monday, January 9, 2006
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Yekaterinburg, Russia — On the face of it, Maria Romanova's legal application to Russian prosecutors might seem straightforward.
As the self-described head of the surviving family of Nicholas II, Russia's last czar, Ms. Romanova wants rehabilitation for her ancestors, according to her lawyer. Under Russian law, this would mean a formal admission that Nicholas II was unjustly killed along with his wife, children and attendants after revolution swept away Russia's monarchy.
Perhaps most troubling for Ms. Romanova's legal process are the questions posed by experts in Yekaterinburg about her credibility. The birth certificate for czar Nicholas that she submitted as part of her application looks as though it could belong to anybody, said Vadim Viner, a businessman from Yekaterinburg who has been researching the death of the Romanovs for 17 years.
"She probably got the certificate from some homeless person whose name was Nicholas," Mr. Viner said, slouching in a badly rumpled three-piece suit in his small, dark office.
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