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Security at Moscow City Court tightened ahead of Pussy Riot appeal review

October 10, 2012, 11:23 UTC+3

The court is to meet at 11:00, Moscow time

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MOSCOW, October 10 (Itar-Tass) — Police tightened security on Wednesday ahead of the review by the Moscow City Court of the appeal by the Pussy Riot punk group members sentenced to two years for hooliganism at the Christ the Savior Church in Moscow.

The court is to meet at 11:00, Moscow time.

"Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich have already been brought to the court to attend the hearing of their appeal," Moscow City Court spokeswoman Anna Usachyova said.

Some twenty police and bailiffs have been deployed on the court's premises and several buses with police are on hand near the court's building.

A large group of journalists and both the punk group’s supporters and opponents have gathered near the Court.

The lawyers asked the court to "overturn the verdict and stop criminal prosecution of their clients." Lawyer Nikolai Polozov said they are hoping for a softer sentence rather than its annulment. The interests of all the three Pussy Riot participants at the first hearing were represented by lawyers Voletta Volkova, Mark Feigin and Nikolai Polozov.

At present, Samutsevich's lawyers are Farid Murtazin and Irina Khrunova.

On August 17, Moscow's Khamovniki court found Tolokonnikova, Samutsevich and Alyokhina guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hate and strife. Judge Marina Syrova sentenced each defendant to two years in a general security penitentiary.

The court said the defendants' actions were not politically motivated. The three girls said their prank at the Christ the Savior Church was "an ethical error."

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