29 April 2013, 10:08
Pussy Riot's Tolokonnikova denied parole - court ruling
Zubova Polyana, Mordovia, April 29, Interfax - The Zubova Polyana District Court in Mordovia turned down Pussy Riot female punk band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova's parole plea on Friday, an Interfax correspondent has reported.
In presenting their reasons for granting Tolokonnikova parole, defense lawyers said that, if released, she would find a job, continue her studies, recover her health and would be raising her child.
Tolokonnikova said she still could not admit her guilt but did not consider this a factor preventing her parole. "My headaches have grown worse in the penitentiary, and doctors say this is because of stress. They advised me to take different pills, but I can't do without pills anyway," she said.
Tolokonnikova said quality medical aid at a penitentiary is impossible.
The penitentiary administration and prosecutors objected to granting Tolokonnikova parole. In particular, a prosecutor said at the hearing that she has had two reprimands while at the penitentiary. "However, the lawyers are convinced that their client has firmly chosen a path of correction," he said.
Hearing the parties' reasons, Judge Lydia Yakovleva ruled to turn down Tolokonnikova's parole plea.
The court hearing on whether to grant Tolokonnikova parole lasted nearly 8 hours. A court representative said the hearing was covered by "nearly a hundred members of domestic and foreign media outlets."
Several Pussy Riot members staged a performance at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on February 21, 2012. The action caused great controversy in both Russia and abroad. Three Pussy Riot members, i.e. Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Maria Alyokhina were detained on disorderly conduct charges. The women refused to admit their guilt, saying that they did not intend to insult believers.
The Court found Tolokonnikova, Samutsevich, and Alyokhina guilty of disorderly conduct based on religious enmity and sentenced them to two years in prison each on August 17. The Moscow City Court later upheld Tolokonnikova's and Alyokhina's sentences and suspended Samutsevich's sentence. The defense teams for the Pussy Riot members filed supervisory appeals on March 5, but the court declined them.
Tolokonnikova is serving her sentence at female penitentiary No. 14 in Mordovia and Alyokhina at penitentiary No. 32 in the Perm Territory.