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MOSCOW September 6 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow's Kuntsevo court will begin to review two lawsuits against Pussy Riot participants on Thursday. The actions were initiated by Novosibirsk and Berdsk residents who demand compensation for moral damaged caused by Pussy Riot punk group members' actions at the Christ the Savior Church, the court's spokeswoman Tatyana Danshova told Itar-Tass.
"The court will hold a pre-trial hearing behind closed doors. Then it will name the date of the hearings on the merit," Danshova said.
"In their statements of claim, Ivan Krasnitsky and Yuri Zadoya pointed out that the actions by Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich had insulted their feelings as believers and caused them moral damage, which they estimate at 30,000 roubles each," the spokeswoman said.
Pre-trial check into the statements of claim is due at 12:00, Moscow time, on September 6. The hearing will take place in camera, according to Danshova.
Earlier, Novosibirsk resident Irina Ryazankina lodged a similar claim with the Kuntsevo report. She also demands a 30,000-rouble compensation for moral damage from the Pussy riot members. Her claim will be heard on the merits on September 7.
On August 17, Moscow's Khamovniki court sentenced three Pussy Riot participants two years in a general regime penitentiary for hooliganism at the Christ the Savior Church on religious hate and strife grounds.
On February 21, five masked young women in brightly colored clothes appeared in the Christ the Savior Church, ran onto the ambon before the altar and performed an indecent song for several minutes using the amplifiers they had brought along. They also shouted insults against the clergy and believers, as well as against the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.
They ignored the rebukes by the church attendants and believers, and fled as guards tried to detain them.
Pussy Riot later claimed responsibility for the action. The group is notorious for similar actions such as the one in Red Square. The punk group placed on Live Journal a video report of the church prank.
At the trial, the defendants acknowledged participation in the punk prayer but stated they had nothing to do with videoing or placing it on the Internet. They also claimed the action was aimed to criticize government bodies and the Church leadership, and that they had never meant to hurt the believers' feelings.