The Rules to the Justice Game

In anticipation of this morning’s verdict in the Pussy Riot trial, The New Times conducted an investigation into the judges that have presided over the trial thus far, including Marina Syrova, the Khamovnichesky district court judge who will read out the Pussy Riot verdict.  They uncovered some disturbing facts.

1.  Of the 180 verdicts issued by Syrova that have been posted online, 179 have been ‘guilty’.

2.  All six of the judges involved in this case, as well as in the cases of protesters who face jail time for their participation in the May 6 rallies (such as that of Artyom Savyolov), were also involved in Yukos trials.

3.  The Kremlin doesn’t need to tell Syrova what to do regarding the sentencing of these women: Syrova has been given the job of delivering the verdict because she already knows ‘what needs to be done’.

And a final prediction from an anonymous judge (quoted in English by RFE/RL) on whether or not Pussy Riot are likely to be released:

Are you serious? That idea is from the realm of fantasy. There are rules to the game. Any judge who broke those rules would immediately be taken to a psychiatric hospital for an examination. If such a verdict were pronounced it would be immediately overturned by another judge. The person who was acquitted would, in the best case, be allowed to walk out of the courtroom — then he would immediately be taken into custody and no one would appreciate your gesture.