Jailed Pussy Riot members get new defense attorney
MOSCOW, November 20 - RAPSI, Saria Kiut. Attorney Irina Khrunova will be representing the interests of Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who have been sentenced to two years in prison for disorderly conduct at the Christ the Savior Cathedral, Khrunova told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Monday.
Yesterday, attorney Mark Feygin said that he, Violetta Volkova and Nikolai Polozov, the girls' previous legal representatives, had terminated their agreement with the band members.
During the consideration of the appeal against the Khamovnichesky District Court's ruling, which sentenced all three band members to two years in prison, Khrunova represented the interests of Yekaterina Samutsevich, whose punishment was then substituted by the Moscow City Court with a suspended sentence.
The attorney said that she is drafting an appeal against the sentence to be filed with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the name of all three band members.
"Last week I was granted powers of attorney from Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina," Khrunova said, adding that the case will be most likely considered after the New Year.
In late February, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas performed a "punk-style" prayer at the altar of Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. An edited video of their performance that was posted on the Internet caused a public outcry. Tolokonnikova and fellow Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested shortly thereafter.
The Khamovnichesky District Court sentenced the three Pussy Riot members to two years in prison for disorderly conduct on August 17. Later, the Moscow City Court commuted Samutsevich's sentence from two years in prison to immediate release on probation due to the fact that she was detained by security prior to reaching the stage and did not actually participate in the protest.
The judge left Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina's sentences intact.