Court delays band's appeal

The Associated Press /

MOSCOW — A Russian court postponed an appeal Monday by three members of the jailed rock band Pussy Riot after one of them fired her lawyers. Prosecutors criticized the move as a delaying tactic, while one defense lawyer said the women were under tremendous pressure, with the government threatening to take away their children.

The two-year sentences given the three performers for hooliganism after they performed a “punk prayer” against President Vladimir Putin at Moscow’s main cathedral have provoked an international outcry that has embarrassed Putin’s government.

As the hearing began Monday, band member Yekaterina Samutsevich announced that she has fired her three lawyers over an unspecified disagreement.