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MOSCOW, November 26 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that his stance on the sentences to the Pussy Riot punk group and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky remains unchanged.
In his interview with the AFP news agency and the Le Figaro newspaper ahead of a visit to Paris, the prime minister expressed his personal opinion about the Pussy Riot case. The girls from Pussy Riot now know only too well what it is like in prison, and the term they have already served is sufficient enough, he said. But there is also the position of the court, the prime minister stressed.
“I don’t like at all what these girls did, and I don’t like at all their public image. From the moral point of view this was a rather bad joke,” the prime minister said. “But taking into consideration the fact that they spent quite a long time in pre-trial detention, I believe they know already too well what it is like in prison. And in this sense, the state has already demonstrated to them its punitive possibilities, and has explained to them that they must behave properly from the point of view of law and ethics,” he stressed.
As for the sentence to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, he said “any person serving a prison term deserves pity, as it is a very grave punishment”. “On the other hand, there is a penalty determined by court. As to the case of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, the court determined the penalty provided for by law,” Medvedev noted.
“There is a possibility to appeal against the sentence. As far as I understand, this procedure was made, and actually an appeal against the second sentence is still in progress,” he said.
Besides, the prime minister reminded the readers about the right of pardon, which neither Khodorkovsky nor Lebedev have availed of. “If they had appealed to the president, it would have been the decision of the president whether to pardon them or not. They have not appealed to me for that,” Medvedev added.