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23:59 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Pussy Riot Seek Deferred Sentence

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The defense team for the two jailed Pussy Riot members has asked the court to defer execution of their two-year prison sentences until their children reach age 14, lawyer Mark Feigin said on Wednesday.

The defense team for the two jailed Pussy Riot members has asked the court to defer execution of their two-year prison sentences until their children reach age 14, lawyer Mark Feigin said on Wednesday.

“We have filed a petition with the Khamovniki District Court,” he said.

“The court has officially accepted the petition and is to set a hearing date within 10 days.”

On Monday, the court denied a request by Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Maria Alyokhina, 24, to stay at the pretrial detention center where they are presently being held.

A Moscow court last Wednesday freed a third Pussy Riot member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, at an appeal hearing, but ruled that the two other women in the anti-Putin punk group must serve out their two-year sentences.

They are now set to be transferred to a penal colony hundreds of miles from Moscow.

The three women were jailed for two years on August 17, after a court found them guilty of “hooliganism with the aim of inciting religious hatred” in a decision that drew sharp international criticism.

Lawyers for the group have rejected the argument that the group’s 40-second performance of a song entitled “Holy S**t” was anti-religion, saying it was a protest against the Orthodox Church’s support for Vladimir Putin ahead of the presidential elections on March 4.