Moscow court to hear Pussy Riot appeal

Associated Press
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 file photo feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church on Sunday Sept. 30, 2012, asked for clemency for three jailed members of the rock band Pussy Riot if they repent for their "punk prayer" for deliverance from President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's main cathedral, a statement that came a day before an appeal hearing and appeared to reflect a desire to put an end to the case that has caused an international outrage. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze, file)
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FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 file photo feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church on Sunday Sept. 30, 2012, asked for clemency for three jailed members of the rock band Pussy Riot if they repent for their "punk prayer" for deliverance from President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's main cathedral, a statement that came a day before an appeal hearing and appeared to reflect a desire to put an end to the case that has caused an international outrage. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze, file)

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court is set to hear an appeal filed by three jailed members of the rock band Pussy Riot, who have been sentenced to two years for performing a "punk prayer" against President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's main cathedral.

A day before Monday's hearing, the Russian Orthodox Church said the rockers would deserve mercy if they offer repentance for their stunt. The move followed a statement by the Russian premier, who said that keeping them in prison any longer would be "unproductive."

The calls reflected an apparent desire by both the government and the church to put an end to the case, which has caused international outrage. It remained unclear whether the women would offer penitence sought by the church and how much leniency a court may show.

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