MOSCOW, June 20 (RIA Novosti) – A Moscow court on Thursday upheld a three-year prison sentence handed down to a young woman who had fired a rubber-bullet handgun at two men she claimed attacked her and her friends with a knife, the RAPSI legal news service reported from the courtroom.
Alexandra Lotkova, now 21, said she fired four shots from the purportedly non-lethal weapon in an attempt to stop a brawl between her friends and the two men at a local subway station in May last year. She has maintained that she was acting in self-defense.
But one of those two men, who were both injured by the shots, said he was actually trying to take a hatchet away from one of Lotkova’s friends who was acting aggressive.
The Moscow City Court upheld a lower court’s March decision to sentence Lotkova for causing grievous bodily harm with intent, a crime that entails a punishment of up to eight years behind bars. That earlier ruling counted toward her sentence the time she had spent under house arrest.
After the first trial, Lotkova’s lawyer called the verdict “unjust, unfounded and cynical,” adding, “Her friends were being beaten right in front of her, and a drunk … man with a knife was running toward her.”
The alleged knife, however, is not visible on surveillance camera footage of the incident, a discrepancy the defense attributed to poor video quality.