Magistrate Olga Borovkova, infamous among Russian protestors for sentencing some of their leaders, in an interview published on Tuesday denied facing any pressure from higher officials while handling such cases.
When asked by the Izvestia daily correspondent about whether she was "pressurized into making this or that decision by higher authorities or law-enforcers," Borovkova answered: "no, this is ruled out."
On Sunday the 26-year-old magistrate ruled to extend by ten days the arrest of Russia's Left Front movement leader Sergei Udaltsov. The opposition leader was arrested on December 4 over the fact that he has not served the full term of his previous administrative arrest and escaped from a hospital.
Udaltsov has gone on a hunger strike in protest and was twice hospitalized during his detention. After his arrest was extended, the opposition leader was again taken to hospital.
Borovkova said she was not informed about Udaltsov's health problems.
"Neither Udaltsov, nor his defense presented any information about his life-threatening condition during the hearing," she said. "He listened to the verdict, then his defense team told court bailiffs that he felt unwell and that an ambulance team should be called in. This was done."
The move was widely criticized on the Internet, with some bloggers publishing the magistrate's home address and other personal information.
In early December Borovkova sentenced anti-corruption activist and opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny and opposition leader Ilya Yashin to 15 days of administrative arrest for disobeying police orders.
She also made headlines in January for reportedly refusing to give a chair to former-deputy-prime-minister-turned-opposition-leader Boris Nemtsov, who had to stand for about five hours during his trial. The magistrate dismissed the information saying Nemtsov had ignored the offer and chose to stand for the court hearing.
Borovkova said she often hears such cases because her jurisdiction included "places where protestors like to gather for unauthorized public events."
"That's why all cases of violations during such events are submitted to me," she said. "Unfortunately, administrative cases against participants of unauthorized public events are heard in a turbulent atmosphere and provocations do take place."