Judge Weighs Sanctions Against Russia In Dispute Over Religious Texts

10 Jan 2013 9:45 AM | Anonymous

Judge Weighs Sanctions Against Russia In Dispute Over Religious Texts
In a long-running legal fight over Jewish religious texts seized in the early twentieth century, a Washington federal judge heard arguments today on whether to levy civil contempt sanctions against Russia for refusing to obey an order to return the texts.

There were two sides arguing in court today, but neither was the Russian government. The plaintiffs, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, won a judgment in 2010 that the texts belonged to them but have since unsuccessfully tried to get them back. The U.S. Department of Justice argued today against sanctions, telling U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth that such an order would run afoul of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and threaten U.S. foreign policy interests.


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