Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Yekaterina Samutsevich, one member of the infamous Russian band Pussy Riot, has been free on appeal. The two year prison sentence for the other two members has been upheld.
In August, all three women were convicted of Hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for an irreverent protest against President Vladimir Putin.
The band members argued in court on Wednesday that their impromptu performance outside a cathedral was political in nature and not religious despite the location.
Dressed in brightly colored miniskirts and tights, with homemade balaclavas on their heads, the women performed a "punk prayer" asking Virgin Mary to save Russia from Putin as he headed into a March election that would hand him a third term.
"We didn't mean to offend anyone," said Maria Alekhina, who along with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Samutsevich spoke in court from inside a glass cage known colloquially as the "aquarium." She said they were protesting Putin and also the Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy for openly supporting his rule
The Moscow City Court began Wednesday's hearing by dismissing two defense motions, including one to call more witnesses to the performance inside Christ the Savior Cathedral.
The appeal was postponed from Oct. 1 after Samutsevich fired her lawyers. Prosecutors criticized the move as a delaying tactic.
Source: CBS News