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Pussy Riot activists questioned in judge attack case

May 22, 2012, 14:19 UTC+3

They stated they did not know Andrei Borodin and had never seen him

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MOSCOW, May 22 (Itar-Tass) — Investigators questioned the arrested participants in the Pussy Riot art group in the case against Andrei Borodin, who had attacked Moscow's Taganka court judge Yelena Ivanova, a lawyer told Itar-Tass.

"The girls were questioned today within the framework of the investigation into the criminal case. They stated they did not know Borodin and had never seen him," lawyer Mark Feigin said.

On April 23, Andrei Borodin, 36, rushed into Ivanova's office and attacked her with an ax, demanding that the Pussy Riot activists be set free.

Bailiffs heard the judge's calls for help and overpowered the attacker. A court sanctioned his arrest on the same day.

Borodin was charged under article 295 of Russia’s Criminal Code /"infringement on life of person administering justice"/.

Feigin said the judge had been slightly injured in the attack. "Borodin hit her with the back of the ax. The judge parried the blow. It left a large abrasion on her arm, which a forensic expert later logged," 'the lawyer said.

"Borodin is aware of the incident and explained his action by his dissatisfaction with the judicial system. His sanity will be checked an expert examination, Feigin said.

Pussy Riot is a group believed to be behind the church prank at the Christ the Savior Church in the winter.

On February 21, five masked young women in brightly colored clothes appeared in the Christ the Savior Church, ran onto the ambo before the altar and performed an indecent song for several minutes using the amplifiers they had brought along. They also shouted insults against the clergy and believers, as well as against the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.

They ignored the rebukes by the church attendants and believers, and fled as guards tried to detain them.

Police opened a criminal case under Article 21, Part 2 of Russia's Criminal Code /hooliganism/ which envisions a penalty of up to seven years.

The young women denied their involvement in the church prank.

The Pussy Riot punk group later claimed responsibility. It placed on its page on Live Journal photos and a video recording of the action. The Punk Group earlier staged a similar action in Red Square. The young women's lawyers claimed the girls had been in the Church for about 40 seconds.

Earlier this month, the Moscow City Court upheld custody extension to June 24 for the three suspected participants in the "punk prayer," Maria Alyokhina Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.




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