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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Punk band Pussy Riot’s courtroom drama grips Russia

• Reuters

Journalists, bloggers, relatives and supporters have crowded since Monday into Moscow’s 40-seater Khamovnichesky courtroom for the hearing that included a “witness” who turned out to have viewed the incident online and another who declared the word “feminist” obscene if uttered in a church.

Court bailiffs, armed with guns and even backed up by a brutal-looking dog, constantly snapped: “That’s not funny!” in an attempt to curb the sniggers.

The jokes have reverberated over the Internet via Twitter and judge Marina Syrova decided to suspend the trial’s Internet broadcast.

“This is better than going to the theatre!” one member of the audience exclaimed during Wednesday’s hearing of the case against the three members of Pussy Riot.

On Thursday, the courtroom drama took a sinister turn when a bomb threat prank call interrupted the hearing.

Although security officers escorted everyone out to inspect the premises, the defendants were left sitting in the court house, their lawyers said.

 

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