Daily Archives: August 3, 2012

Live at the Witch Trials

It turns out that RAPSI, the Russian Legal Information Agency, has been live texting the Pussy Riot trial in Moscow since day two. Here are some highlights, so to speak, from yesterday’s hearing:

21:09 The judge is reading the investigative materials aloud, certifying that Tolokonnikova is not enrolled in a psychiatric or neurological clinic, that she has not stood trial before in her life. Tolokonnikova’s biographical information sheet from Moscow State University’s philosophy faculty is fairly uninformative. It contains evaluations, information about her maternity life, and her voluntary departure from school. It was noted that while studying, she didn’t have any conflicts with students or professors, but the Interior Ministry did request information about her twice. Maria Alyokhina’s university characterized her as a diligent, creative student. Samutsevich’s protocols are now being read aloud. According to the document, when arrested she had on dirty jeans and dirty shoes, didn’t have a trace of cosmetics on her face, and her hair was not dyed.


19:21 The judge has read out the results of psychological and linguistic examination of the Pussy Riot performance. The experts administering the examination found that the actions taken by the girls were not symbolic of a desire to incite animosity or hatred toward any given group of people. The same experts found no evidence of hostility toward Orthodox Christianity in Pussy Riot’s punk prayer. In the lyrics of the song – which are available on the group’s website – they, however, detected signs of hostility toward clergymen and heretics. These experts have diagnosed all three of the Pussy Riot girls with personality disorders. Still, the experts maintain that the girls are sane – noting that they should be held responsible for their decisions, and that they do not require psychological treatment.


17:27 The judge has reprimanded Pussy Riot’s defense team for not having reviewed all the materials on the case. [There are 8 volumes and 2,500 pages].

17:13 Pussy Riot defense lawyer Nikolai Polozov says that another witness has arrived, but was refused admission into the courtroom. Polozov was reprimanded for going outside to meet him.


14:56 As it turns out, an investigator previously interrogated the elder Samutsevich. The prosecutor requested permission to read the testimony produced during the interrogation aloud. Apparently therein lie the answers to all of the questions he refused to answer in court, based on his right not to testify against his daughter. The defense objected. As usual, the judge sided with the prosecution. It follows from the interrogatory testimony that according to the elder Samutsevich, Tolokonnikova sucked his daughter into the so-called feminist movement. “I denounce the very idea of feminism in Russia, because Russian culture is entirely different from that of the West. More of our women work- often in high-ranking positions.”


10:33 The Pussy Riot girls have arrived. Today they have a different accompanying security convoy. Whereas yesterday they were guarded by a rottweiler, today they’re being guarded by a sheepdog.

Thanks to Sergey Chernov for the heads-up and Sergei Y. for the image.

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