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Russian Court To Hear Wallenberg Case Next Week As Family Looks For Answers

  • RFE/RL

Raoul Wallenberg's passport photo from June 1944

A court in Moscow will hear a lawsuit on August 17 filed by relatives of Raoul Wallenberg against Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) to provide uncensored documentation that could help determine the fate of the former Swedish diplomat and war hero, a lawyer for the family says.

“We feared we will encounter resistance from the court in the adoption of the claim given that in recent decades, Russian state bodies have invented various pretexts in order not to provide information on this case,” Ivan Pavlov, a lawyer for Wallenberg's niece, Marie Dupuy, said on August 10.

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

Russia has only said that Wallenberg died in 1947 in Moscow's notorious Lubyanka prison, which was run by the KGB, the predecessor of the FSB, although details of the death remain unclear.

The Soviets, and subsequently Russia, allege the then-35-year-old Swede died of a heart attack. Wallenberg’s family, Swedish officials, and others have disputed that assertion.

Dupuy said on July 26 that she had asked the Russian legal association Team 29 to file the suit because "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 have not been allowed to examine the documents.

"As soon as [August 17], we will clarify the position of the FSB, which has not commented on this case in any way, and we will find out what we are going to face in court," Pavlov said.

With reporting by The New York Times, and Interfax
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