Friday, August 17, 2012

Pussy Riot Guilty Of Hooliganism

Three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot have been found guilty of hooliganism after they performed an anti-Putin protest in Moscow's biggest church.

President Vladimir Putin's opponents said the trial in Moscow was part of a wider crackdown by him to crush their protest movement.

And stars including Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney and Bjork had called for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24 and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, to be released.

The judge said the three defendants, two of whom have young children, committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred and offending religious believers.

Prosecutors want them jailed for three years, down from a possible seven-year maximum and Mr Putin himself said he hoped the sentencing was not "too severe."

In February, the balaclava-wearing trio had stormed the capital's main cathedral and performed a "punk prayer" at the altar, asking the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of the then prime minister Mr Putin.

At the time, he was on the verge of winning a new term as president. Read More