A Russian court has delayed the start of a hearing into an appeal against the conviction of three members of the Pussy Riot punk band who burst into a church and performed a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
One of the band members, Yekaterina Samutsevich, told the Moscow court that she was dismissing her defence lawyers because of a disagreement over the handling of the case.
The three women are currently serving two-year jail sentences for the anti-Putin 'punk prayer' they performed in Moscow's main cathedral. Western governments and celebrity supporters have portrayed the sentences as excessive, and opposition groups see their treatment a part of a crackdown on dissent since Putin's return to the presidency in May, but many Russians regard them as irreverent self-publicists.
Written and Presented by Ann Salter
Published on Oct 1, 2012 by IBTimesUK