MOSCOW, October 15 - RAPSI. The Investigative Committee has refused to launch a criminal case against officials who allegedly violated the law in storming the Dubrovka Theater during a 2002 hostage crisis, the aggrieved parties' lawyer Igor Trunov told RAPSI.

In October 2002, 40 terrorists took an audience of over 900 people hostage at Dubrovka Theater in Moscow. After three days of negotiations, security forces released an undisclosed gas to sedate the terrorists before storming the building. The gas is believed to have led to the deaths of a number of hostages.

The committee has stated that the opening of a criminal case in connection with this incident was denied upon politician Boris Nemtsov's request on December 31, 2002. The reason given then was that none of the officials' actions constituted a crime. There are still no grounds to reverse the previous decision.

Trunov stated previously that a criminal case must be initiated under the Criminal Code for concealing information about circumstances which threaten people's lives or health, or lead to accidental manslaughter or accidental infliction of harm as a result of negligence.

Trunov has appealed the refusal to open the case with the Lefortovsky District Court in Moscow. He wants the court to declare the investigators' conduct unlawful, as the latter failed to consider his application.

The aggrieved parties lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights against the authorities in 2003. On December 20, 2011, the court held in favor of the applicants, but also ruled that the authorities did not violate their human rights by using the gas. The court awarded 64 claimants 1.3 million Euros.