MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow court began hearings on Thursday on a libel suit filed by Joseph Stalin's grandson against a newspaper over an article claiming the Soviet dictator ordered the killings of thousands of people.
Novaya Gazeta press secretary Nadezhda Prusenkova told RIA Novosti that Yevgeny Dzhugashvili is demanding 10 million rubles ($340,000) in compensation from the paper, as well as a retraction of certain claims made.
The paper cited declassified documents signed by Stalin and handed to his chief of secret police Lavrenti Beria, ordering the killings.
The April 22 article, written by Anatoly Yablokov and headlined "Beria found guilty", was part of a supplement entitled 'The truth of the Gulag'.
During Thursday's hearing, a small number of protesters gathered outside the court holding up photographs of Stalin.
The Basmanny Court will continue the hearing on Friday.