19 November 2012, 16:10
Convicted Pussy Riot musicians change their lawyers (updated)
Moscow, November 19, Interfax - Lawyers of the convicted Pussy Riotpunk musicians have stopped representing their interests.
"Due to the huge public reaction and pressure put on our clients Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, we have decided to quit," Alyokhina's lawyer Nikolay Polozov told Interfax.
In his words, the girls had reached an agreement with their new defense.
Polozov said that Tolokonnikova's lawyer Mark Feigin and he had agreed with their clients that it would be expedient to replace lawyers if the clients experienced pressure in their penitentiaries.
"We were denied a meeting with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at the penitentiary in Mordovia today under the pretext we had no warrant to defend her. We viewed that as a sign of pressure being put on Nadya and decided it was time to implement our agreement," Polozov said.
He said that lawyer Olga Romanova, an acclaimed journalist and the wife of convicted businessman Alexey Kozlov, would represent Alyokhina.
"The name of Tolokonnikova's lawyer is still unknown, but we are aware that her husband Pyotr Verzilov is actively working on that," Polozov said.
He did not rule out that Feigin and he might rejoin the case some time later.
Feigin confirmed that several lawyers from the Pussy Riot case quit in his microblog.
"We have just been denied a meeting with Nadezhda [Tolokonnikova] at the 14th penitentiary. Under our agreement, we - Volkova, Polozov and Feigin - quit the Pussy Riot case," Feigin said.
He noted they were acting by their plan.
"We cannot endanger Nadya and Masha (Alyokhina) any longer. We quit," he said.