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Lawyer Says Experts Did Not Find Motives Of Hatred In Pussy Riot’s Protest

The three members of female Russian punk band Pussy Riot who have been held in custody pending charges: (left-to-right): Ekaterina Samusevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Maria Alyokhina
A lawyer for arrested members of the Pussy Riot female punk group, Violetta Volkova, says that an expert group had not found any motives of hatred in the band's February action in Moscow's major church.

She maintains that this constitutes grounds for releasing members of the punk group who have been held on remand pending an investigation as to whether they should be charged with inciting hatred.

According to Volkova, because their actions did not involve hatred, their case is an administrative rather than a criminal procedure and therefore there is no reason to keep them in custody.

The detainees are facing a number of hooliganism charges.

An Interior Ministry official said Volkova's statement on April 26 was premature as a court would decide if the action was a crime.

Three members of the Pussy Riot were arrested after their band staged a performance against Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin inside the Christ the Savior Church near the Kremlin on February 21.

Last week, a court in Moscow prolonged their pretrial arrest till June 24.

The band's supporters have staged a number of protest actions in Moscow and other cities, calling for their release.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS