Moscow City Court upholds Pussy Riot verdict
MOSCOW, May 29 (RAPSI) - Olga Yegorova, chairwoman of the Moscow City Court, has upheld the verdict handed down to the Pussy Riot members, who were sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral, the court reported on its website.
The supervisory appeal filed by attorney Irina Khrunova on behalf of Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been dismissed, according to the statement.
A supervisory appeal under Russian law allows the defendant 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 chairperson, or the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.
As Pussy Riot lost its supervisory appeal, the option remains for the group members to file an appeal with the Russian Supreme Court.
In February 2012, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas staged a "punk-style" prayer in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. An edited video of their performance was posted on the Internet and caused a public outcry.
In August 2012, the Khamovnichesky District Court in Moscow sentenced Alyokhina and two other Pussy Riot members - 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.
In April 2013, the Zubova Polyana District Court in Mordovia rejected Tolokonnikova's request for parole.
Alyokhinas request for parole was rejected by the Berezniki court on May 23.