MOSCOW, July 30 - RAPSI. Defendant in the Pussy Riot case Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has called the "punk prayer" performed in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior an "ethical mistake," stressing that she had no intention of offending anybody, the Khamovnichesky District Court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com).
Tolokonnikova's defense attorney Violetta Volkova read out her response to the indictment. The defendant noted in her address that her conduct had only political and artistic motives.
In late February five masked women performed a punk-style protest song at the cathedral's altar. A video of their performance was posted online and provoked a public outcry.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. They face up to seven years in prison.
The Prosecutor's Office maintains that the Pussy Riot members " inflicted substantial damage to the sacred values of the Christian ministry", "infringed upon the sacramental mystery of the Church" and "humiliated in a blasphemous way the age-old foundations of the Russian Orthodox Church."
The defendants performed their song "in an extremely vulgar way for such a setting" while the song was "insulting and sacrilegious to Orthodox believers," said the Prosecutor General's Office.