Steven Lieberman Speaks to International Media On Pro Bono Client Chabad's Continuing Legal Proceedings Against Russia
"We're not talking about dollars, we're not talking about barrels of oil. We're talking about books that are venerated by members of the Chabad movement and by many, many thousands of millions of Jews around the world," Rothwell Figg's Steven Lieberman told i24News on August 1, 2022, as he spoke about his pro bono client, Chabad, and the lawsuit against Russia to return the Schneerson Library.
Despite multiple court orders directing it to do so and sanctions totaling over $170 million, the Russian Federation refuses to return the holy books and other materials that were stolen from Chabad by the Soviet Union and the Nazis. In the latest move to apply more pressure, Steven and his team have petitioned the Israeli government to condition the transfer of the Alexander Courtyard in Jerusalem upon return of the Chabad archives.
Steven also spoke with Robert Gregory of the Australian Jewish Association (AJA) on August 30, 2022, about the case. "[T]he question is, how do you put pressure on Russia?... what we've been doing is we've been going around the United States, and we're looking around the world, for assets that belong to the Russian Federation that we can seize to satisfy the judgment. Not because Chabad wants the money, but because this will be a pressure point to try to convince the Russian Federation to trade whatever assets we can seize for the books that rightfully belong to Chabad."
"I think the more pressure that can be applied to the Russian Federation, the better. The Russian Federation plainly wants the Alexander Compound. It's important to the Russian Federation. Hopefully this will bring them to the table," Steven told i24News.
"Whenever we've asked why they won't return the books, the answer is simple, they say, 'This is an asset of the Russian people.' This is bunk. The Russian people couldn't care less about these books. They belong to the Jewish people. They belong to Chabad."