January 22, 2009
NEW YORK (JTA)
A federal judge ordered Russia to preserve historic documents sought by members of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said Thursday he will order Russia to preserve the documents and return any that already may have been removed from state archives, The Associated Press reported.
Chabad is suing Russia to recover thousands of books and documents that belonged to the late Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, the father-in-law of the last Chabad leader, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1994.
The judge also warned Russia that it could face a default ruling in the case if does not bring in new lawyers. Russia's current firm asked to withdraw from the case, saying that the government has failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills.