Russian Court to Rule on Punk Band

Posted August 17th, 2012 at 4:40 am (UTC-5)
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A Russian judge will deliver a verdict Friday on three women from a small punk band who are charged with hooliganism for performing a song in a church ridiculing President Vladimir Putin .

Prosecutors have asked the Moscow court to sentence the trio to three years in prison for performing a political “protest prayer” at the city's main cathedral.

The prosecution said in closing arguments last week that the performance insulted both the church and its parishioners.

The three-year sentence is less than the seven-year maximum the women could face for charges of hooliganism.

The three entered Christ the Savior Cathedral in February, where they staged an impromptu performance of a song with lyrics that call on the Virgin Mary to deliver them from Vladimir Putin, who at the time was running for the Russian presidency. The three were arrested in March and have been jailed since.

The case has prompted calls for leniency from an array of international musicians, celebrities, and ordinary Russians. Last week, President Putin said he did not favor harsh punishment for members of the band.