The attacker of an elderly Russian human rights activist has been given a one-year suspended sentence by a Moscow court.
Konstantin Pereverzev hit the chairwoman of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva on March 31 while she was paying her respects to those killed in the Moscow metro bombings.
Pereverzev approached 82-year-old Alexeyeva while she was laying flowers at Park Kultury metro station and asked "Are you still alive?" before slapping her in the face.
Alexeyeva said the assault caused a rise in her blood pressure but no broken bones.
Pereverzev, who studied theology and now heads a construction company, claimed that he was drunk when he committed the assault. He said had been in a desperate situation as a result of his business going badly, a kidney disease and the ill health of his mother.
"I sincerely beg your forgiveness. I swear from the bottom of my heart that this will never happen again. Believe me," Pereverzev said. His mother also asked Alexeyeva to excuse her son for the attack.
Alexeyeva said Pereverzev was a "weak-willed and drinking man" and his assault on her was not due to "personal dislike," but a result of outside influence.
She said she was in court and is satisfied with the judge's verdict.
"I did not want anyone put in the prison because of me. I am very satisfied that he [Pereverzev,] was punished as he deserved to be, but also that his freedom was not taken from him. I think the judge acted very wisely," she said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Earlier the human rights activist personally asked the court to give her attacker the minimum sentence.
MOSCOW, May 5 (RIA Novosti)