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Defence lawyers appeal arrest of 3rd defendant in Pussy Riot case

March 19, 2012, 17:52 UTC+3

The defence insists that a measure of restraint not linked with her detention in custody should be applied to the girl

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MOSCOW, March 19 (Itar-Tass) — The defence lawyers have appealed the arrest of Yekaterina Samutsevich (Irina Loktina) - a third alleged participant in the “punk-prayer” action in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, her lawyer Nikolai Polozov told Itar-Tass.

“It may be said that appealed, as today we will file a cassation appeal in which request the Moscow City Court to cancel the decision on the arrest of our client,” he said.

According to the lawyer, the ruling of the Moscow district court is illegal and unjustified. The defence insists that a measure of restraint not linked with her detention in custody should be applied to the girl.

On March 16, the Tagansky court of Moscow arrested Samutsevich, who had earlier refused to tell the investigators her real name and called herself Irina Loktina. Thus, the request of the investigator who believes that the accused could have been involved in other similar crimes was granted. In addition, he drew the court’s attention to the fact that “opposing the investigation is obvious.”

The defendant herself said in court that she “does not understand the charges brought against her” and did not take part in the action in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. She said that she lives and is registered in Moscow and does not intend to hide from the investigation, and hid their personal information because of the increased public attention to the criminal case.

“Everyone knows that people have different attitude to them, there have been facts of issuing threats against the relatives of the other accused, so Katya thus wanted to protect herself and her father,” lawyer Violetta Volkova explained this act in court. She also reported that the defence intends, if necessary, to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

In early March, the court arrested two other suspects in this high-profile case - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina. They are all charged under Article 213, part 2 of the RF Criminal Code (act of hooliganism committed by a group of persons).

Meanwhile, Samutsevich had earlier been a witness in the case. In this capacity she arrived at the investigation department of the RF Interior Ministry’s department for the Central Administrative District of Moscow, where, as the press service of the city police explained, she was identified by the church workers and security officers. “Her membership in the Pussy Riot group is confirmed by numerous video recordings of the group’s performances posted on the Internet and records of the building’s video surveillance system,” the police department said earlier.

According to investigators, On February 21, five masked girls in brightly coloured clothes appeared in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, ran onto the ambo before the altar, where only the clergy are allowed, and, using sound-amplifying equipment they brought with them, for several minutes sang an obscene song, shouted abusive words addressed to the clergy and the believers, including Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill. They did not react to reproofs of the clergy and visitors of the church, and when the security guards tried to detain them - disappeared. Later, the punk band Pussy Riot claimed responsibility for the incident. The group has gained notoriety for other similar actions.

However, the defence lawyers argue that the girls danced for around 40 seconds on the solea, and the music and lyrics were added to the video later in the studio.

Police opened a criminal case over this incident under Article 213, part 2 of the RF Criminal Code – hooliganism, under which the girls are facing up to 7 years in prison.



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