After 90 years of the killing of Russia's last tsar during the Bolshevik revolution, a Moscow city court has ordered the opening of a criminal case into the murder.
Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, their four daughters and a son, and several servants, were shot dead by the Bolsheviks in a basement in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg in the early hours of July 17, 1918.
In 2008, Russia's Supreme Court ordered the exoneration of Tsar Nicholas II and his family members following a request by Grand Duchess Maria Romanov.
However, the Basmanny district court said there were no criminal offences committed against the royal family, as they were shot on behalf of the state. The case was closed on the grounds that those who had committed the premeditated murders of the royal family were dead.
The new case will assess evidence and arguments presented by the grand duchess and the Prosecutor General's Office, which was not done previously, lawyer German Lukyanov said. "The Grand Duchess hopes that justice will prevail".
The Romanovs were canonised in 2000, and are buried in St. Petersburg's Peter and Paul Cathedral.