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Pussy Riot will not ask Putin for pardon: Lawyer

Published on Aug 20, 2012 3:19 PM
 
Members of the all-girl punk band "Pussy Riot" Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (right), Maria Alyokhina (left) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (left) sit in a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Moscow on Agust 17, 2012. A Moscow court today handed a two-year jail sentence to the three feminist punk rockers who infuriated the Kremlin and captured world attention by ridiculing President Vladimir Putin in Russia's main church. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - The three members of punk band Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in prison for performing an anti-Vladimir Putin song in Russia's top church will not ask the president for a pardon, their lawyer said on Monday.

"Our clients will not ask for a pardon," defence lawyer Nikolai Polozov told AFP on Monday, adding: "Literally this is what they said: 'Let them go to hell with their pardon'."

Band members Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich on Friday were each found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for their Feb 21 protest in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral and handed two-year jail terms.

The West decried the sentencing, with the United States saying it was "disproportionate" and the European Union calling the punishment excessive. Mr Polozov said the defence team planned to appeal as soon as they received a copy of the verdict.