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Western officials in court for Pussy Riot trial


Russia

Western officials in court for Pussy Riot trial

Western embassy officials and a British member of parliament have been in a Moscow courtroom, to observe the controversial Pussy Riot trial.

Three members of the punk band are accused of hooliganism, after a song against Russian President Vladimir Putin was performed in the city’s main cathedral.

The presiding judge has barred some of the defence witnesses from testifying. A swift end to the high-profile case is being predicted, with a verdict expected within days.

“It’s impossible to understand the position of the court, why there’s such a humiliating attitude
towards witnesses, the general public and journalists,” said Violetta Volkova, lawyer for Pussy Riot.

The three women on trial, who have won support from fellow performers as well as Western politicians, face up to seven years in jail if convicted.

British Shadow Foreign Office Minister and Labour Member of Parliament, Kerry McCarthy, attended Monday’s court proceedings.

Putin is being accused of launching a crackdown on dissent, but he recently said the band members should not be judged too harshly.

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