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Moscow Officials Launch Criminal Cases In Demolition Of Rechnik Homes

A home is demolished in the Moscow suburb of Rechnik.
A home is demolished in the Moscow suburb of Rechnik.
MOSCOW (RFE/RL) -- A Moscow district prosecutor's office says city officials violated regulations when they demolished private homes in the suburban community of Rechnik a few weeks ago, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Stanislav Ivanov, the chief prosecutor of Moscow's Western Administrative Region, told RFE/RL that four criminal cases have been launched in connection with the demolitions.

Demolition crews began wrecking the privately-owned houses of residents in Rechnik on January 21. Local authorities said the actions were based on a court order.

Moscow officials oversaw the demolition of 20 homes in the settlement between January 21 and February 4.

The owners of the demolished properties protested their destruction. They said they were not informed about the court proceedings or its ruling and therefore had no opportunity to defend their rights or their properties.

The local prosecutor's office began an investigation into the incident on February 4 after President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the Prosecutor-General's
Office and the presidential administration to investigate whether the demolitions were legal.

On February 11, a Moscow court ordered the suspension of demolitions in Rechnik.