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US judge: Russia acting like 'scofflaw,' in dispute with Jewish group over historic collection

A federal judge says Russia is acting like a "scofflaw" and an "outlaw" by refusing his order to hand over a Jewish group's historical books and documents.

Royce Lamberth is chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington. He made the comments at a court hearing Thursday.

Lamberth slapped Russia with a $50,000-a-day civil contempt sanction in January for refusing his earlier order to give the documents to Chabad Lubavitch (khah-BAHD' loo-BAW'-vich). That's a Hasidic movement within Orthodox Judaism headquartered in Brooklyn.

Russia has refused to recognize the authority of the U.S. court. The country has transferred some of the documents to the Jewish Museum in Moscow.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the museum and called the case "closed."