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Court arrests man pouring paint on icon at Saviour Cathedral

September 19, 2012, 17:11 UTC+3

The police reported that Piotrovsky has presumably poured paint on the icon and was detained at the crime scene on September 16

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MOSCOW, September 19 (Itar-Tass) —— The Khamovniki District Court of Moscow Wednesday sanctioned an arrest of Yuri Piotrovsky, who poured paint on an icon at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Putting him under arrest until October 17, the court satisfied a request from the police investigation department.

Detective Irina Kuligina has substantiated the need for keeping the suspect under arrest, because he lives permanently in Munich, does not have a job and the place of residence in Russia, therefore, there are some reasons to believe that he may escape justice and obstruct the investigation into the criminal case.

“Piotrovsky is suspected of a moderately grave crime, which is punished by a term of up to five years in prison. He violated the rules of legal conduct, stepping on the ambo and the solea (at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral) that is forbidden. Coming to the iconostasis in honour of the Nativity of Christ the Saviour and the Icon of Christ the Saviour, he poured the black liquid, presumably the paint, which he prepared beforehand,” Kuligina read out the criminal materials.

Meanwhile, the suspect claimed that he “did not commit any acts of hooliganism.”

“I promise that I will fly for a trial from Munich, because I want open and fair justice,” Piotrovsky said.

At the court session he has made rude statements towards the detective. “She did not read my five books and cannot know the materials of my criminal case. She learnt from the media what had happened. She insulted me, calling me as a hooligan,” the suspect cried out from a cell in the courtroom.

The judge explained to the participants in the trial that, “according to the results of the medial examination, the suspect is in a state of delirium, but can attend the court session.”

For his part, lawyer Vyacheslav Nazarenko asked the court to rule “a measure of restraint not related with imprisonment” to his client.

The police reported that Piotrovsky has presumably poured paint on the icon and was detained at the crime scene on September 16. The criminal case was opened against him under an article of the Criminal Code of hooliganism.

Piotrovsky lives permanently in Germany, a source in the law enforcement agencies said earlier. He is registered in St. Petersburg, studied at the St. Petersburg Orthodox Spiritual Academy, but did not graduate from it. Since the early nineties he lives and works in Munich, where he delivers lectures on religious studies and is an author of the concept of neo-Christianity as a allegedly common world super religion of the humankind.

This is not the first incident at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral that drew attention of the media and the public. The members of the punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for a scandalous punk prayer. The court found them guilty of hooliganism out of religious hatred.

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