Pussy Riot called as third party in artist's claim against PR-savvy law firm
NOVOSIBIRSK, September 10 - RAPSI. Defendants have submitted an application to attach the convicted members of Pussy Riot as a third party to Siberian artist Artyom Loskutov's case against them for inciting Pussy Riot-related hatred, the plaintiff's representative Nikolai Kirilenko told RIA Novosti Monday.
On Monday, the Novosibirsk Kalininsky District Court held preliminary hearings for the case.
The defendants, who are law firm representatives, submitted an application to attach the convicted Pussy Riot members to the lawsuit.
Kirilenko said the next hearing will be held on October 8 when the court considers the lawsuit on its merits.
He added that the defendants stated that it would be impossible to establish all of the circumstances in the case without attracting Pussy Riot as a third party.
In early August, the law firm Ryabinina, Zinovyev and Krestyanov filed a lawsuit in the Kuntsevsky District Court on behalf of three Novosibirsk residents. The residents sued Pussy Riot and sought compensation for moral harm, which was allegedly inflicted upon them by the band's performance at the Christ the Savior Cathedral. They have asked for 90,000 rubles ($2,835) in compensation.
"I think they are crossing the line," Loskutov said. He said the defendants filed the lawsuits to make money off of other people's misery and to gain publicity. While commenting to the media, he said they are inciting hatred and animosity toward Pussy Riot.
Loskutov's lawsuit seeks 30 kopecks (one cent) from each lawyer involved.
"Of course, it would be great to recover 30 pieces of silver from each of them, but we don't have such currency," Loskutov said, recalling the 30 pieces of silver Judas took to betray Jesus in the Bible story.
A representative of the Russia Orthodox Church was earlier said to be involved as a third party in the case.
In March, images stylistically reminiscent of Russian Orthodox religious icons appeared on light boxes. The icon-esque images were made in support of the arrested Pussy Riot band members. Particularly, one poster showed a haloed mother and child composition, with a woman wearing a Pussy Riot-style balaclava.
Law enforcement authorities identified Loskutov as the alleged vandal.
Three administrative cases based on offenses against religion were initiated against Loskutov.
The magistrate's court acquitted Loskutov on one count for lack of evidence.
Of the two remaining counts, Loskutov was found guilty and was fined a total of 1,000 rubles ($31.36).
On February 21, 2012, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas stood at the altar of Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral to perform a protest song entitled, "Holy Sh*t." Shortly thereafter, an edited video of the performance that was uploaded to the Internet incited a public outcry.
Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were convicted of disorderly conduct and sentenced on August 17.