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MOSCOW, December 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Members of the Pussy Riot punk group Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who are serving prison terms, might be released by New Year's Eve, their lawyer Irina Khrunova said on Wednesday.
“As a matter of fact, the situation entirely depends on whether the administrations of their penal colonies want their soonest release, but I think they would not like to procrastinate the release process for the two girls," the lawyer said.
A bill "On Amnesty" will come into force after it is published by Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily, the lawyer said.
Another woman from the Pussy Riot band, Yekaterina Samutsevich who was given a suspended sentence, will be amnestied as well, the lawyer said. A resolution on her amnesty will be announced by an inspector of an inspectorate for the implementation of sentences. The only difference the amnesty will make for Yekaterina Samutsevich is that she will no longer have to visit the inspectorate to report her presence, Khrunova said.
Earlier, the Presidium of the Moscow city court had appointed for January 24 the hearings into an appeal, filed by a supervisory body against the verdict passed by the Moscow Khamovniki district court to the Pussy Riot punk group. "I am confident that the three women will come to the hearings on foot,” Khrunova said.
The State Duma on Wednesday passed at second reading a presidential bill On Amnesty, declared in connection with the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution, by 444 out of the overall number of 450 deputies in the State Duma.
A discussion of the amnesty bill at third reading, which will be a formal one, will be held after 4.00 pm Wednesday.