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the removal of a corpse from a burial site. According to Soviet law, a body may be exhumed at the request of an investigator, who must state the purpose of doing so: an investigatory view (or a second investigatory view) of the body, identification of the deceased by an acquaintance or an expert, or presentation of the body for primary, additional, or follow-up forensic expertise (medical, biological, or toxicological). The most frequent reason for exhumation is to examine a body that should have been subjected to forensic medical expertise owing to the circumstances of death but that was buried without an autopsy.
Witnesses, a forensic medical expert, and, if necessary, another specialist, such as a health inspector, are present at an exhumation. The investigator prepares a protocol of the exhumation, which includes photographs of the grave, gravestone, coffin, and corpse.