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Moscow Prosecutors Send Pussy Riot Case To Court For Trial


Members of the Pussy Riot punk band whose case has been sent to court (left to right): Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich

Members of the Pussy Riot punk band whose case has been sent to court (left to right): Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich

The Moscow prosecutor's office has sent its case against members of the all-female Pussy Riot punk band to court for trial.

The indictment accuses the three young women of inflicting "deep spiritual wounds" on Orthodox Christians as a result of their performance in Christ the Savior Cathedral that called for an end to Vladimir Putin’s rule in Russia.

A prosecutor's spokesman said on July 12 that the women had "colluded to commit an act of hooliganism for reasons of religious hatred and animosity against a social group."

The trio -- Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina – have been in pre-trial detention since March.

Reports say they could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

The case has sparked a debate in Russia and elsewhere about the limits of free speech.

Based on reporting by AFP and ITAR-TASS

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