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Russian prosecutor seeks jail sentence for Pussy Riot

  • A state prosecutor has demanded a three-year jail sentence for three women from punk band Pussy Riot, saying they had abused God after they burst into a Moscow cathedral and sang a "protest prayer" against the Russian Orthodox Church's ties to Vladimir Putin.

    The protest led to the three being charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

    The case has sparked international outcry and shifted focus on a clampdown on dissent since Putin returned to the presidency for a six-year term earlier this year.

    On Tuesday, the European Union accused Russia intimidation of judges and witnesses in the trial, adding that the case breached international judicial standards.

    Last week, Putin said that Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, had done "nothing good" but should not be judged too harshly.