2012-04-23 14:20:00

Attack on judge not connected to Pussy Riot case - lawyer

Moscow, April 23, Interfax - A lawyer for the Pussy Riot performers said he is surprised by the reports of an attack against a Tagansky Court judge who is trying his clients' case.

"I learned about the attack against Justice Yelena Ivanova perpetrated by a man with an axe from the mass media. What can I say? As a rule, people who do such things are mentally disturbed. A normal person would not attack judges with an axe," lawyer Nikolay Polozov told Interfax on Monday.

Polozov said he does not believe that this incident is connected to the Pussy Riot case in any way.

"It's a shame that no bailiffs who were present in the courtroom detained a man with an axe. I'm also interested in the issue of organization of judges' protection," he said.

"Thank God, no one has been hurt and I am confident that the appropriate authorities will get to the bottom of this situation in the near future," Polozov said.

Some media earlier reported that a man who had an axe had attacked Justice Yelena Ivanova, who is trying the Pussy Riot case. According to the media reports, the man entered the judge's office asking how he could make a request. Some time later, shouting and calls for help came from the office and bailiffs went there. The man, who appeared to be about 30, was escorted from the judge's office. He was handcuffed and was holding an axe in his hands. The bailiffs said the man was "brandishing an axe at the judge."

On February 21, several members of the Pussy Riot punk band, wearing masks covering their faces, staged an anti-Putin performance at Christ the Savior Cathedral. The Pussy Riot stunt prompted an enormous public outcry and infuriated the faithful.

On April 3, Amnesty International named the Pussy Riot detainees prisoners of conscience and called for their immediate and unconditional release.

The Russian Orthodox Church strongly condemned the girls and expects them to repent.