Russia’s supreme court orders review of Pussy Riot case

Country’s highest court says prosecution did not fully prove punk bankd’s guilt

A group of people protest in support of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk rock protest group, during the meeting between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Italian president Giorgio Napolitano near Quirinale palace in Rome. Photograph: Guido Montani/EPA

A group of people protest in support of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk rock protest group, during the meeting between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Italian president Giorgio Napolitano near Quirinale palace in Rome. Photograph: Guido Montani/EPA

Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 09:31

Russia’s supreme court has ordered a review of the case against two jailed members of the Pussy Riot punk band, saying that a lower court did not fully prove their guilt.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were found guilty of hooliganism motived by religious hatred in August 2012 following an impromptu protest in Moscow’s main cathedral.

They were each jailed for two years but Samutsevich was later released several months later on a suspended sentence.

The supreme court said in a ruling published yesterday that the lower courts overlooked the women’s circumstances which would have allowed for a more lenient sentences.

Tolokonnikova and Alekhina are scheduled for release in March, but it is unclear if they will be set free earlier by a lower court reviewing their case.

AP