Court: Pussy Riot appeal hearing to continue next week

Members of the all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot' sit in a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Moscow on August 17, 2012.

Story highlights

  • The hearing will continue October 10
  • The three women were convicted in August to two years in prison
  • The sentence is linked to their performance of a song critical of President Vladimir Putin
  • Their song was in one of Moscow's grandest cathedrals

The appeal hearing for three members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot, who were sentenced to two years for performing a song critical of President Vladimir Putin, will continue next week.

One of the band members Yekaterina Samutsevich said Monday that she no longer wants to work with an attorney who doesn't share her views in the case. The hearing will resume October 10.

Read more: Pussy Riot supporters vent anger on Twitter

The women were convicted in August for hooliganism, sparking an international outcry.

Authorities charged them after they criticized Putin in one of Moscow's grandest cathedrals.

Read more: Band member's husband condemns Pussy Riot prison sentences

"Mother Mary please drive Putin away," the women screamed in February inside the Christ Savior Cathedral, their faces covered in neon masks.

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Russian punk rock band on trial

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Political crackdown in Russia
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The group's prayer was inspired by their anger about the relationship between the Russian government and the Orthodox Church, according to the band's manager, who is married to one of the suspects.

A judge rejected the women's defense that they were acting from political motives, ruling that they had intended to insult the Orthodox Church and undermine public order.

An Orthodox church leader has been widely reported as saying Putin's years in power have been a miracle from God.

A day before the hearing, the Russian Orthodox Church appealed for leniency for the band members, according to state-owned Ria Novosti.

The church believes repentance will "benefit the souls" of the band members, the news agency said.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called for the members' release, but said he is "sickened" by their actions.

The three -- Samutsevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina -- were arrested in March.

Two other members of the female punk rock band have fled Russia.

      Pussy Riot trial

    • Two years for Russian punk group

      A judge blasts three members of Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot for performing a song critical of Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church.
    • Pussy Riot supporters took to Twitter to vent their anger against the band's two-year sentence.

      Supporters vent anger on Twitter

      The Twittersphere lit up with pictures and messages of support from around the world after three band members were jailed for "hooliganism."
    • Supporters stand near the street holding a sign as embers of the band 'Brenda' perform in a dirt lot across the street from the Russian Embassy in Washington on August 10, 2012 in a solidarity concert for the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot. Three members of the female band Pussy Riot are currently on trial in Russia and face a three-year sentence with the possibility of hard labor for performing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral last February. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GettyImages)

      D.C. punk bands rock for Pussy Riot

      Tents, food trucks, art work and posters with "Free Pussy Riot" covered bus stops and real estate board during a concert in D.C. in support of the arrested Russian band.
    • Putin asks court to show leniency

      Russian President Vladimir Putin asks a court to show leniency for three members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot charged with hooliganism.
    • Members of the all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot' Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L), Maria Alyokhina (R) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (C), sit behind bars during a court hearing in Moscow on July 30, 2012. In February, five women walked silently into Moscow's Church of Christ the Saviour before clambering over railings, pulling on balaclavas and yelling out a protest song against Vladimir Putin. The 'punk prayer' by the all-woman group Pussy Riot lasted around a minute. Three women arrested in March over the incident face up to seven years in a prison colony after being charged with hooliganism and have already spent four months awaiting trial . AFP PHOTO / ANDREY SMIRNOV (Photo credit should read ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/GettyImages)

      Celebrities back Russian punk singers

      Music stars including Pete Townshend of The Who, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand and Corinne Bailey Rae called on Russia to free members of the Pussy Riot punk band.
    • How to get arrested in Russia

      Here's a clue: Walk into a cathedral wearing a neon mask, stand on the pulpit and scream songs with lyrics like "Virgin Mary drive Putin away!"