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Putin suggests leniency for Pussy Riot punk band protesters

Published on Aug 3, 2012 6:55 AM
 
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (left) talks to journalists after attending judo competitions at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Aug 2, 2012. Mr Putin said on Thursday he did not favour a tough punishment in the trial of an all-girl punk band which performed a song against his rule in Moscow's biggest church. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he did not favour a tough punishment in the trial of an all-girl punk band which performed a song against his rule in Moscow's biggest church.

"There is nothing good in what they did," news agencies quoted Mr Putin as saying about the three Pussy Riot members. "Nevertheless, I do not think that they should be judged too severely for this."

Mr Putin's first comments on a case that has split Russian opinion and drawn concern from both global music stars and Western states suggests a lenient ruling in the ongoing trial of the three 20-something part-time musicians.

The band - its members dressed in tight neon dresses and knitted balaclavas - in February performed a "punk prayer" in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral that included lyrics condemning the Church's open support for the state.

 
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