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Putin: Pussy Riot Should Not Be Punished 'Too Strictly'


Pussy Riot members (from left in the background) Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich appear during hearings on the merits on their case in Moscow's Hamovniki Court on July 30.

Pussy Riot members (from left in the background) Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich appear during hearings on the merits on their case in Moscow's Hamovniki Court on July 30.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the three members of the Pussy Riot female punk group, who are on trial in Moscow for an anti-Putin performance, should not be punished "too strictly."

Putin told reporters in London he hopes "the court issues a correct decision."

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested in March after staging a performance at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in which they denounced President Vladimir Putin's rule.

They were officially charged with hooliganism and insulting the feelings of Orthodox Christians.

They face seven years in prison if convicted.

The trial resumed on August 2 after the court building was temporarily evacuated following a bomb threat phone call.

Court officials later said no bomb was found.

This is the third time when the trial has been suspended since it started on July 30.

On August 1, the trial was suspended twice after the defendants felt unwell and ambulances were called to the courtroom.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS

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