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Russian dissident punk group Pussy Riot are set to spend six more months in jail, The Guardian reports.

The female threepiece, consisting of Yekaterina Samutsevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, were originally arrested back in March for “inciting hooliganism” after they staged a protest (or “punk prayer) against President Putin at a Moscow church.

The trial formally started with pre-trial hearings today (20 July), but defense lawyer Mark Feigin is already calling proceedings a “show trial”. He added:

“Today’s decision only proves again that our role as defendants here is a pure formality.”

 

Pre-trial hearings continue next week, with all three to be remanded in custody until January 2013.