9 Aug 2012

Delay in punk trial verdict

1:03 pm on 9 August 2012

The presiding judge in the trial of Pussy Riot, a Russian punk band, has delayed her verdict until the end of next week.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, performed a song attacking Russian leader Vladimir Putin in front of the altar of Moscow's main cathedral on 21 February.

They are accused of inciting religious hatred. Prosecutors in Moscow have called for the women to be sentenced to prison for three years.

Their performance inside the cathedral was captured on video.

Last week, Mr Putin, who was re-elected president in March, called for leniency towards them during a visit to London for the Olympic Games.

Defence lawyer Mark Feygin argued on Tuesday that the case against the women did not stand up because they are charged with hooliganism under Article 213 of the Russian penal code, yet no violence or damage had occurred or been threatened.