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You're reading: Pussy Riot trial hurtles towards verdict in Russia
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 The first week of hearings divided the mainly Russian Orthodox country. Some believers want tough sentences but many others are calling for leniency, even though few approve of the unsanctioned performance at the altar of Moscow`s main church.

The trial for hooliganism, punishable by up to seven years in jail, resumes on Monday in the same Moscow courtroom where oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky faced the second of two trials after defying Putin by taking an interest in politics.

His 13-year sentence has for Putin critics become a symbol of political pressure on the court system, and defence lawyers fear Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Yekaterinina Samutsevich, 29, and Maria Alyokhina, 24, are not getting a fair hearing.

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