Russian Court Adjourns Pussy Riot Appeal Hearing Until Oct. 10

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LONDON - A Russian court on Monday adjourned the appeal hearing for three members of punk band Pussy Riot amid a dispute about the lawyers in the case, the BBC reported.

 

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The three band members - Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich - were present in the Moscow court Monday. But Samutsevich, 30, complained to the judge that her request for a different lawyer had not been honored, according to the BBC.

The hearing will resume on Oct. 10.

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In August, the three were found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and jailed for two years. They had staged an anti-Kremlin protest in a big Moscow cathedral where they used obscenities and begged the Virgin Mary to "throw out" Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Russian authorities' backlash against Pussy Riot drew criticism from music stars and others in various parts of the world.

The lawyers for the band members have raised doubts that the appeal process will succeed.

The Russian Orthodox church has signaled the musicians have a chance if they repent. "If [the church] mean repentance in the sense of a crime...it definitely won't happen," one of the lawyers told independent TV channel Dozhd on Sunday, according to the BBC. "Our clients won't admit guilt. A call for that is pointless."

The father of one of the three women has similarly said: "The sentence is predetermined; their repentance will not affect it in any way."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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