Stalin's Grandson Demands Probe Into Ukraine Famine Charges

MOSCOW, Russia -- Joseph Stalin's grandson has called on Ukraine to investigate the officials behind a court case in which the Soviet dictator was found guilty over the Holodomor famine, a Ukrainian daily said on Monday.

Stalin's grandson Yevgeny Dzhugashvili.

A court in Kiev last week found Stalin and other Bolshevik leaders guilty of genocide against Ukrainians during the 1932-1933 famine, which Ukraine has sought to be recognized internationally.

Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, known for a series of court battles in Russia to protect his honor over accusations against his grandfather, has sent a letter to Ukraine's prosecutor general saying such "false charges" could only have come from Stalin's "main foe" Hitler rather than a democratic state, Sehodnya newspaper reported.

He said genocide was only introduced in Ukraine's criminal code in the 1990s so could only be applied in trying cases of modern leaders like former President Leonid Kuchma and current President Viktor Yushchenko.

"Security Council officials [who investigated the case] and court judges cynically violated the European Convention of Human Rights, which says no one can be convicted for deeds that were not legally a crime when they were committed," Dzhugashvili was quoted as saying by the paper.

In December 2009, a Moscow court for a second time rejected a libel suit against a Russian newspaper. Dzhugashvili demanded Novaya Gazeta retract parts of an article calling Stalin a "criminal" and asked for 10 million rubles ($326,000) in compensation for damage to his honor.

He also brought a suit against Ekho Moskvy radio seeking compensation for "offensive disrespect for the late Soviet leader."

Millions of people were executed on fake charges of espionage, sabotage, anti-Soviet propaganda or died of starvation, disease or exposure in Gulag labor camps under Stalin's rule. According to official statistics, 52 million were convicted on political charges during Stalin's regime and 6 million were sent out of cities without any court verdict.

A Ukrainian court said last week it had dropped criminal proceedings on the charges of Holodomor, which the country's authorities said killed more than 3.9 million people, because the suspects had died.

Source: RIA Novosti