Friday, May 23, 2014

Russian Court Imposes Sanctions On Library of Congress For Failure To Return 7 Religious Books On Loan

Last year, a D.C. federal district court held the Russian government and three of its agencies in civil contempt for not complying with a 2010 default judgement ordering them to return two expropriated collections of valuable Jewish religious books and manuscripts to Chasidei Chabad of United States.  The court  imposed civil sanctions of $50,000 per day until defendants comply with the court's order. (See prior posting.) In response, the Russian government filed suit in a Russian court to force the U.S. Library of Congress to return seven books from one of the two collections that were loaned to it. (See prior posting.) Now, according to The Forward, a Moscow arbitration court ruled yesterday that the Library of Congress must pay $50,000 in fines for every day the seven books are not returned. Russia claims that the books were loaned to the Library of Congress in 1991 for 60 days, but have never been sent back to Russia.