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00:35 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Russia

Russian Police Searching for At Large Pussy Riot Members

Russia
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Russian police said on Monday they were searching for the fourth and fifth participants in a protest by anti-Putin punks Pussy Riot in Moscow’s largest cathedral.

Russian police said on Monday they were searching for the fourth and fifth participants in a protest by anti-Putin punks Pussy Riot in Moscow’s largest cathedral.

“The criminal case is ongoing and a search is underway,” an Interior Ministry spokesperson told RIA Novosti.

It was unclear if police had established the identities of the suspects.

Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Maria Alyokhina, 24, were jailed for two years on Friday by a Moscow court for their part in the February 21 protest in the Russian capital’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. The group performed a “punk prayer” urging the Virgin Mary to “drive Putin out.”

The group was charged with “hooliganism” aimed at “inciting religious hatred.” Lawyers for Pussy Riot said the performance was not anti-religion and was in protest at Orthodox Church support for Vladimir Putin ahead of the March 4 presidential elections that returned him to the Kremlin.

The ruling sparked international condemnation and over 50 people were detained in a protest outside the court.