Defamation claim against Pussy Riot’s Tolokonnikova dismissed
MOSCOW, April 18 (RAPSI) – A court in Norilsk has rejected a defamation lawsuit filed by Yury Kupriyanov, Chief of the Mordovian penal colony No. 14, against Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Tolokonnikova’s attorney Damir Gainutdinov told RIA Novosti.
Lieutenant Colonel Kupriyanov sought 500,000 rubles ($13,917) from Tolokonnikova. He demanded refutation of her statements about slave labor in the colony.
A similar lawsuit was filed by the colony. The court also dismissed it.
In February 2012, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas staged a punk rock prayer in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. 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 Tolokonnikova and two other Pussy Riot members - Maria Alyokhina 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 had been seized by security guards prior to reaching the altar.
Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were recently freed after serving nearly 21 months of a two-year sentence for hooliganism. They were jailed for performing the “punk prayer” in Moscow’s Christ the Savior cathedral as part of a political protest in 2012.
The activists were pardoned in December 2013, pursuant to a broad amnesty spearheaded by Russian President Vladimir Putin.