During the night between the 16th and 17th of July, 1918, the former Russian Emperor Nicholas II, his family, as well as all the persons attached to it, were murdered by the order of the Yekaterinburg Soviet of workmen's deputies. The news of this crime broke through the closed ring that surrounded Bolshevist Russia and spread over the entire world.
At the end of July, 1918, the town of Yekaterinburg was taken from the Bolsheviks by the forces of the Siberian Government. Shortly after their occupation of the district an investigation was ordered to be made of the circumstances attendant on the murder. A judicial examination therefore took place of the witnesses connected with the life of the imperial family at Czarskoe-Selo, Tobolsk and Yekaterinburg by N. A. Sokoloff, the Investigating Magistrate for Cases of Special Importance of the Omsk Tribunal.
Upon the fall of the Kolchak regime, copies of the depositions were taken from the archives by M.George Gustav Telberg, Professor of Law at the University of Saratov and Minister of Justice at Omsk, when he fled with the other ministers of the Omsk government.