On Monday, October 1, the hearings in an appeal over the Pussy Riot criminal case were disrupted in the Moscow City Court. Member of the punk group Yekaterina Samutsevich stated that she refuses from lawyer Violetta Volkova. Samutsevich noted that her position differs from the strategy of the lawyers of the punk band. A next court session will be held on October 10.
The Kommersant daily reported that at the very beginning of the court session Samutsevich stated unexpectedly that her position over the criminal case differs from the position of her lawyer. Other convicts supported the appeal of their friend, but did not refuse from their lawyers – Mark Feigin and Nikolai Polozov.
The Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily noted that lawyer Feigin failed to comment on the reasons for Samutsevich’s decision. “She is not my client, I do not know many things, but this is her position and she has the right for it,” the lawyer said. Feigin believes the refusal from cooperation with the former lawyers may influence the political support and the publicity of the criminal case. Meanwhile, the lawyers will have to change their appeals, which were drafted for three convicts, he said.
The RBC daily reported that Chairperson of the State Duma Committee for Security and Counteraction to Corruption Irina Yarovaya saw the reason of the conflict between the lawyer and the client in the fact that “the lawyer has found some politics in the trial and was more inclined to political PR than to the fulfilment of his direct professional duties in terms of law.” “Apparently, this is just an example of how the political position of the lawyer puts up an obstacle for a full-fledged defence of the interests of the client,” Yarovaya said. Member of the Russian Public Chamber Denis Dvornikov also supported her position.
The Novye Izvestia daily found that the information about a possible recall of the lawyers was posted in Twitter last Sunday. Coordinator of the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners Anna Karetnikova, who visited the convicts in the detention centre last Saturday, has spread the information. She noted that the members of the public supervisory committee had some talks with Simutsevich, pledging a more lenient punishment up to a suspended sentence to her in exchange for the refusal for the lawyers. “You were misinformed,” lawyer Nikolai Polozov told her before the court session.
The Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported that already after the court session lawyer Polozov has made an entry in his Twitter blog, “I respect any choice of my clients. But in case of Katya I do not rule out that she had taken her decision under pressure.” The newspaper does not rule out that some other convicts will refuse from the lawyer at a next court session.