Moscow City Court to Hear Pussy Riot Appeal

Moscow's highest court is examining an appeal by three members of the punk band Pussy Riot of their conviction for a performance protesting President Vladimir Putin.

Pavel Chikov, head of the legal aid group Agora, which represents the band, said Wednesday that Moscow City Court's presidium had requested files of the guilty verdict on charges of hooliganism that was handed down in August as the result of Pussy Riot's performance in Moscow's main cathedral.

Human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin filed a supporting affidavit asking for the conviction to be overturned. Lukin's affidavits have special legal status and have frequently helped free defendants in a country where 99 percent of trials end in convictions.

Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were given two-year sentences. Samutsevich was later released on appeal, but her conviction was not overturned.


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