Pussy Riot trial: complainants do not accept apologies, feel "moral pain"
1.08.12 13:50 By Darya Zagvozdina, edited by Karina Ayvazova
Maria Alekhina escorted to the Khamovnicheskiy court Photo: Reuters
The trial over Pussy Riot punk band members continued on Tuesday with more questioning of complainants. The second day of hearings took place in a tiny room in the Khamovnicheskiy court in Moscow, only 14 journalists could fit in the room, making the trial even more closed than on Monday when the judge banned online broadcasting of the trial.
The first complainant to be questioned was the altar worker of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Vasiliy Tsyganyuk. His story seemed less tough than the ones told by other complainants on Monday. Tsyganyuk said that he did not feel any aggression coming from the Pussy Riot activists. However, when Maria Alekhina, one of Pussy Riot members, asked him how he felt when she apologized on Monday, he replied:
"Do not ask for apologies from me, you will apologize in front of God. I do not consider the apologies written on paper as proper ones.
Defense lawyers wondered whether Tsyganyuk had ever met "demonic" people. He said that he had. When asked whether he thinks the Pussy Riot members are demonic, the judge replied: "He is not a doctor, he cannot give a diagnosis!"
After Tsyganyuk's questioning, Maria Alekhina suddenly stood up and said: "I am not ready for the trial, I have not slept well and I am hungry!" However, Judge Syrova paid Alekhina no attention and continued the session.
The next complainant, Pavel Zhelezov, another altar worker, stood up on the tribune. He said he was "shocked" when he saw five women on the ambon. "I was insulted by the fact that they threw their legs up to their heads," Zhelezov said.
Alekhina asked whether he accepted her apologies. Zhelezov replied that he did not accept them and that she should apologize through the Internet to all those who were insulted by the "punk-prayer."
After a short pause, the trial was relocated to a bigger room. As the judge called for the next complainant, defense lawyer Violetta Volkova demanded the judge be removed. She explained that her clients were almost "tortured": they are woken up at 5 a.m. every morning, they are not fed. Lately, Tolokonnikova started having permanent headaches and Alekhina's sight has deteriorated.
Volkova said that the security guards did not let Alekhina to eat a cucumber and mentioned Sergey Magnitsky, who was given hot water when he asked for it.
The complainants' lawyers and prosecutors refused to confirm the motion about the removal of the judge.
The judge called for the next complainant, a security guard of the Cathedral, Sergey Beloglazov.
Beloglazov said that the "punk prayer" frightened him so much that he could not enter the church for two months.
"If someone sees how the sacred places are abused, he must not be silent, as the silence insults God," Beloglazov said, explaining why he came to the court.
The next to testify against Pussy Riot was Sergey Vinogradov, a churchgoer. He described the performance on the altar as "an outrage and disorderly action." Vinogradov added that he did not accept the apologies of the detained women.
The worker of the church Tatyana Anosova said that "they slapped me and God in the face."
"One of them showed her butt to the God and I shouted: What are you doing? Turn your face to God!" Anosova said.
The two other complainants, Stanioslav Shilin and Vladimir Potankin said nothing new to the court. They both expressed feelings of "moral pain."
Judge Syrova soon stopped the session and said the court would reconvene at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
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