Pussy Riot trial: Russia frees 1
A Russian appeals court yesterday ordered the release of one member of anti-Vladimir Putin punk band Pussy Riot after giving her a suspended term but ordered two others serve two years in a prison camp.
Maria Alyokhina, 24, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, were contesting their conviction for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred over performing a song opposing Putin in Moscow's main cathedral in February.
Earlier, all three had defiantly maintained their innocence, telling the court their cathedral performance of "Virgin Mary, redeem us of Putin!" was aimed at the Russian president and not religious believers.
The judge at the Moscow city court ordered the release of Samutsevich, 30, after giving her a two-year suspended prison camp term. However the two-year prison camp sentences of Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were upheld.