Higher Moscow Court to Hear Pussy Riot Appeal

The three band members received two year-sentences

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    TK
    AP
    Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, Maria Alekhina, center, and Yekaterina Samutsevich sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia, during their trial in 2012.

    Moscow's highest court panel is examining an appeal by three members of the punk band Pussy Riot against their conviction for an anti-Putin protest.

    Pavel Chikov, head of the Agora legal aid group which represents the band, said Wednesday that Moscow City Court's presidium has requested files of the guilty verdict for "hooliganism" they received in August for a performance in Moscow's main cathedral.

    Russia's human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin has filed a supporting affidavit asking for the conviction to be overturned. Lukin's affidavits have special legal status and have frequently helped free defendants in a country where 99 percent of trials end in convictions.

    Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were given two-year sentences. Samutsevich was later released on appeal, but her conviction was not overturned.