29 May 2013, 14:30
Pussy Riot sentence lawful - Moscow City Court chairperson (updated)
Moscow, May 29, Interfax - The sentence passed on Pussy Riot punk band members is lawful, Moscow City Court Chairperson Olga Yegorova said.
The Moscow City Court Presidium has heard the supervisory appeal of the convicts' defense and found the sentence lawful, she told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday.
"We have heard the appeal; our decision has been posted on the website," Yegorova said.
Asked about a possible political flavor to the Pussy Riot case, Yegorova said, "I have studied this case attentively. There are no politics; they are just hooligans."
As to the high-profile case opened against opposition member Alexey Navalny, the Moscow City Court chairperson said, "He is a handsome young man. In fact, I like non-indifferent people but I do not like liars."
"If a person does something wholeheartedly, that is good, but if he deceives and takes advantage of other people, I cannot accept that," Yegorova said.
Pussy Riot singers wearing masks staged a "punk prayer" at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow last year. The action caused a public outcry. Three band members - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina - were detained on hooliganism charges.
The court sentenced the three singers to two years in a general penitentiary. Later on the Moscow City Court upheld the sentence on Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina and ordered a suspended sentence for Samutsevich. The defense filed supervisory appeals on March 5, 2013, but the court declined them.
The Pussy Riot lawyers asked the Moscow City Court chairperson on April 17 to declare the conviction null and void.