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Medvedev urges to wait calmly for ruling over Pussy Riot case

July 30, 2012, 11:50 UTC+3

It is a court that must determine whether it is a criminal case or not, Medvedev stressed

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LONDON, July 30 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that the arrest is already hard experience for the Pussy Riot members who are held in custody after they committed an act of hooliganism in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. However, the premier urges to take the proceedings calmly and wait for the court's ruling.

The case has created quite a stir, as it concerns understanding of human rights and freedoms. But there always will be difference in understanding what is allowed and not allowed in the moral point of view and where moral offences turn into criminal actions for which the one must be prosecuted, the prime minister noted in an interview with the British daily Times.

It is a court that must determine whether it is a criminal case or not, Medvedev stressed.

If no crime is found, those who committed it are lucky -- they became widely known, but did not bear responsibility, he said.

But at present some of the girls are held in a jail, and it is already a serious trial for them and their families. "Of course, I understand this," Medvedev added.

The premier urged to take the case calmly. There is no verdict yet. The investigation is continuing, he noted.

There are various views on the case. In some countries, responsibility for such actions would be much more serious, and under certain political conditions, such activity could have a very sad end for those who committed it inside a temple. It does not matter a temple of what religion, he noted.

"Let's wait for the investigation conclusion and the court's verdict, and after that, one can say whether a crime was committed or not," Medvedev said.

On February 21, five girls wearing masks and bright clothes appeared in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, ran to the pulpit, came to the altar and with the use of sound-amplifying devices for a few minutes sang a scandalous song, including offensive words addressed to clergymen and worshippers. The girls ignored the indignation remarks of those who were present in the cathedral. When guards attempted to detain them, the girls escaped. Later, the Pussy Riot punk group claimed responsibility for the action. The group was already known for similar actions, including that took place on Red Square.

Moscow's Khamovniki district court on July 30 will begin considering the case on its merits. The girls are charged with hooliganism. The prosecutor will read out the indictment, and then, the defendants will say whether they admit their guilt or not. The three defendants are Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina.

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