Judge fines Russia for not returning collections

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Associated Press

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 16 at 2:30 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge is fining Russia $50,000 a day for refusing to return a Jewish group's historical books and documents.

Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court issued the order Wednesday, a week after a hearing on the case. It was made over the objection of the Justice Department, which argued that fines wouldn't help resolve the dispute and in fact would be counterproductive.

The materials record teachings and traditions of the group Chabad-Lubavitch, based in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Lamberth had previously ruled the records were unlawfully possessed by the Russian State Library and the Russian military archive. In 2010, he ordered Russia to turn them over to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow or to the Jewish group's representative, but Russia has refused.

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