Aug. 17 - Three female activists who are part of a female punk rock band called Pussy Riot are found guilty of hooliganism driven by religious hatred. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION A Russian judge on Friday declared three anti-Putin Pussy Riot group members guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, said their protest on Feb. 21 was intended to highlight the close ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and state, and not to offend believers. Pussy Riot supporters say the case against the three punk rock group members has put President Vladimir Putin's tolerance of dissent on trial. Prosecutors want a three-year jail sentence for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for the Pussy Riot members, who stormed the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral in February wearing bright ski masks, tights and short skirts to hold a "punk prayer" for Russia to get rid of Putin. The sentence for three Pussy Riot members will be announced at the end of the verdict reading.