Russian court postpones Pussy Riot hearing
Russia on Thursday postponed to next month a hearing over jailed Pussy Riot punk Maria Alyokhina's plea for a softer sentence, as her fellow jailed bandmate Nadezhda Tolokonnikova continued a hunger strike.
Alyokhina arrived at a court in the central Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod and was placed in the courtroom cage, only for the judge to rule that the hearing should be adjourned until October 18.
The judge accepted a complaint from prosecutors that not all the aggrieved parties in the crime had been informed of the hearing, the RAPSI legal news agency reported.
Alyokhina is serving a two-year sentence in a penal colony for singing a song critical of President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral last year.
Alyokhina, the 25-year-old mother of a young son, had asked to be allowed to spend the remaining six months of her two-year sentence under a milder form of detention.
This could involve a transfer to a different prison, house arrest, release with restrictions, or a fine.
Her fellow jailed Pussy Riot bandmate Tolokonnikova, 23, on Monday launched a hunger strike over prison conditions in her penal colony in the Urals region, saying that women were forced to work 17-hour days and treated like slaves.
Alyokhina wore a black headscarf at the court hearing, telling journalists that this was "because my friend is on hunger strike."
Both women have had two appeals for parole turned down. Their two-year sentences run out in March next year.
© 2013 AFP