Moscow, Oct. 10 (AP): A Moscow appeals court today unexpectedly freed one of the jailed Pussy Riot members, but upheld the two-year prison sentence for the two others jailed for an irreverent protest against President Vladimir Putin.
All three women were convicted in August of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. They argued in court today that their impromptu performance inside Moscow’s main cathedral in February was political in nature and not an attack on religion.
The Moscow City Court ruled that Yekaterina Samutsevich’s sentence should be suspended because she was thrown out of the cathedral by guards before she could remove her guitar from its case and take part in the performance. “The punishment for an incomplete crime is much lighter than for a completed one,” said Samutsevich’s lawyer, Irina Khrunova. “She did not participate in the actions the court found constituted hooliganism.”