Pussy Riot defense seeks abolition of conviction
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- Former Pussy Riot lawyers' suit against Kommersant and new attorney postponed
- Human rights commissioner asks court to overturn Pussy Riot verdict
MOSCOW, April 17 - RAPSI. Attorneys for Pussy Riot have addressed Moscow City Court Chairwoman Olga Yegorova with a request to overturn the hooliganism conviction handed down last summer against the punk group members.
The 13-sheet supervisory appeal submitted to Yegorova seeks to terminate the for lack of the existence of a crime. "The rulings in the Pussy Riot case were made with substantial violations of the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code and should be abolished," attorney Irina Khrunova told RAPSI on Wednesday.
In February 2012, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas staged a so-called punk rock prayer in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in central Moscow. An edited video of their performance was posted on the Internet and caused a public outcry. In August 2012, the Khamovnichesky District Court sentenced Alyokhina and two other Pussy Riot members - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich - to two years in a prison settlement for hooliganism.
In October 2012, the Moscow City Court changed Samutsevich's verdict to a suspended sentence and released her immediately based on her new attorneys' argument that she was seized by security guards prior to reaching the altar. Alyokhina's and Tolokonnikova's sentences were upheld.
Earlier in March this year the Moscow City Court dismissed the supervisory appeals over the sentences against Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina.
Soon afterwards Yegorova said in the NTV channel interview that the possibility exists for the two Pussy Riot members' sentences to be mitigated.
A supervisory appeal under Russian law allows the user to challenge his or her conviction, even after it has become final for all other purposes. It can be filed with either a chairperson of the court or a prosecutor, the Supreme Court chair, or the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.