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Russian Court Postpones Hearing On Wallenberg Suit Until September

Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from slaughter during World War II, was captured by Soviet forces in 1945, then died in 1947.

A Russian court has postponed a preliminary hearing in a lawsuit against the Federal Security Service (FSB) by relatives of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust and died in a Soviet KGB jail.

The judge had been expected to set a date for arguments in the case at a preparatory hearing on August 17 in Moscow's Meshchansky district court.

But the judge postponed it until September 18 shortly after it began, said Daria Sukhikh, a lawyer for relatives of Wallenberg.

"An FSB representative came to the courtroom without a prepared legal position and therefore the court was unable to set the date for the hearing and postponed the preparatory hearing," Sukhikh said.

She added that the FSB needed more time to familiarize itself with the case materials.

Relatives want the FSB, the KGB's main successor, to provide uncensored documentation that could shed light on the late diplomat's fate.

Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from slaughter during World War II, was captured by Soviet forces in 1945.

Russia has only said that Wallenberg died in 1947 in Lubyanka, the KGB headquarters in Moscow, but details about his death remain unclear.

The Soviet Union, and subsequently Russia, have said the 35-year-old Swede died of a heart attack. Wallenberg's family, Swedish officials, and others have disputed that assertion.

Wallenberg's niece, Marie Dupuy, said in July that she had asked lawyers to file the suit as "numerous requests to Russian authorities over many years, publicly and privately, by myself, by expert historians, and Swedish officials, have failed to yield any results."

She claimed Russian archives contained documents with direct relevance related to Wallenberg's fate but said his family and independent experts had not been allowed to examine the documents.

With reporting by, TASS, and Interfax
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