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'Monstrous Hypocrisy': Russian Artist Pavlensky Comments on Charges Brought Against Him in France

© AP Photo / Christophe Ena Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky arrives at the Paris courthouse, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019.
  Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky arrives at the Paris courthouse, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. - Sputnik International
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A French court earlier brought charges against Pavlensky for distributing porn as part of a probe into a sex tape scandal involving prominent politician Benjamin Griveaux. The Russian artist was granted asylum in France in 2017.

Controversial Russian artist Petr Pavlensky, best known for his contentious political performance art, has been placed under judicial supervision his lawyer Yassine Bouzrou said.

Commenting to reporters outside a courthouse, Pavlensky said that "It is a monstrous situation. I thought France was the country of freedom of expression, but there is no freedom of expression. If I can't do anything against a big lie, it's a monstrous hypocrisy".

The Russian artist also responded to claims that he is a "Kremlin agent", saying that such accusations are similar to claims he is a psycho or a criminal.

"When people do not like something, then they [turn to] insults. It is just an attempt to insult..or, it is the easiest way to explain everything", he said.

Sex Tape Scandal

French prosecutors have launched a probe into the release of a sex video and intimate messages that French politician Benjamin Griveaux shared with a young woman on Pavlensky's website pornopolitique.com. The leak forced Griveaux, who is an ally of Emmanuel Macron, to withdraw from the Paris mayoral race.

Under French law, the publication of sexual materials without the owner's consent is punishable by up to two years in prison and a hefty fine.

Pavlensky has claimed he also has footage of other politicians.

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