Security tightened around Khamovnichesky District Court as Pussy Riot trial coming to end

Reinforced police details will patrol the area around the Moscow Khamovnichesky District Court, which will announce a verdict of Pussy Riot punk band members on August 17, a police source told Interfax.

He said the police had analyzed online appeals for mass protests in the case of the singers were found guilty of hooliganism.

"Reinforce police details will stand guard around the Khamovnichesky District Court for security purposes. The police will also watch over central squares of the city and the Christ the Savior Cathedral," the source said.

He stressed the police would do the utmost to prevent breach of order in Moscow.

Several Pussy Riot punk band members wearing masks staged an anti-Putin performance at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on February 21, 2012. The action triggered a broad public response, and three singers - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina - were detained on hooliganism charges. Their custody was extended several times, the latest time until January 12, 2013.

The defense said there were about ten aggrieved parties in the case, mostly guards of the Kolokol A private security guard company and employees of the Christ the Savior Cathedral.

The Pussy Riot trial started in late July. The singers pleaded not guilty and emphasized that was a political action, which did not mean to offend the believers.

The prosecutor demanded three years in a general correctional institution for Tolokonnikova, Samutsevich and Alyokhina on August 7.

The sentence will be read out on August 17.

In turn, human rights defenders said that the biggest punishment the singers deserved was an administrative penalty for petty hooliganism. Amnesty International declared them prisoners of conscience.

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