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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tsar-Bond Holders Sue Russia

PARIS -- Lawyers fighting to claw back more money for French owners of tsarist Russian debt investment bonds are demanding the seizure of a chateau and other Russian-owned property in France.

A French association that represents 15,000 bond holders is unhappy with a partial repayment deal that Moscow agreed with a previous French government in 1996, and is now taking court action in Paris and Moscow to press its case independently.

The Association Francaise des Porteurs d'Emprunts Russes, which says it represents 15,000 people who own or inherited Russian bonds issued between 1886 and the 1917 revolution, wants more than the $400 million compensation offered.

The debt in question amounts to 2.5 billion francs and the interest due on the bonds amounts to 10 billion francs more, according to documents released by the association on Monday.

It has started legal action in Russian courts to fight for a bigger repayment and is asking French courts, as a precautionary measure to seize Russian assets in France that it says are not protected by diplomatic immunity.

Those assets include "a magnificent chateau, whose location is being kept secret in order to avoid any preemptive response by the Russian authorities," the documents say.

The request also covers Russian-owned apartments, mostly in an upscale area of central Paris, the association said.