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17094Pussy Riot have done their time, could be released – Medvedev (updated)

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Nov 3, 2012

      02 November 2012, 15:26
      Pussy Riot have done their time, could be released – Medvedev (updated)

      Moscow, November 2, Interfax - Pussy Riot singers have done their time
      and could be freed, said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

      "I resent these characters - the way they look and what they do. The
      impression they made on me was so negative and I feel so negative about
      them that I hardly want to talk about them," he told the winners of
      international competitions of scientific projects, when asked whether
      the Pussy Riot singers would be freed ahead of time.

      "But if I were the judge I would not have jailed them, just because I
      don't think it is correct to send them to prison. They have spent a long
      time behind bars already. Enough," he said.

      But Medvedev remarked that this prospect is within the court's
      competence. "This question shouldn't be addressed to me. It should go to
      our courts, and to the Pussy Riot singers' defense lawyers. They have
      the right to prepare the relevant requests, which I think they will do,
      and the court, in turn, has the right to hear the issue and decide,"
      Medvedev said.

      He also said that he does not think Pussy Riot are musicians. "I have
      doubts that the group that has become a celebrity not only in Russia,
      but also abroad, has anything to do with music. They have not a single
      song on their record that would get on the hit lists," Medvedev said.

      Masked Pussy Riot punk group singers staged what they called "an
      anti-Putin punk prayer" at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on
      February 21, 2012. The singers' escapade became a matter of controversy
      both in Russia and abroad.

      Three Pussy Riot members, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and
      Yekaterina Samutsevich, were detained and tried for disorderly conduct.
      They claimed innocence and insisted that their action was political
      rather than anti-religious. However, Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court found
      them guilty and sentenced them to two years in a penal colony on August
      17, 2012. Their lawyers filed appeals against the sentence on August 27.
      On October 10, the Moscow City Court suspended Samutsevich's sentence
      and upheld Tolokonnikova's and Alyokhina's convictions.

      Defense lawyer Violetta Volkova said on October 24 that Alyokhina had
      been sent to a penitentiary in the Perm Territory and Tolokonnikova to