ST PETERSBURG, November 7 (Itar-Tass) —— After the third preliminary hearing of a 333-million-ruble lawsuit against US pop star Madonna as compensation for moral damage, the Moskovsky District Court of St Petersburg on Wednesday fixed the date of the first court meeting, November 22, said Olga Lototskaya, the spokesperson of PMI Corporation that organized the singer’s concert in St Petersburg and is the co-respondent in the case.
The parties expect the verdict to be passed at the first court meeting.
The lawsuit was filed in August, a week since Madonna’s concert in St Petersburg. The plaintiffs hold the singer responsible for the breach of the city law on the protection of minors by support for Russian sex minorities during her show.
According to Lototskaya, Justice Vitaly Barkovsky suggested hearing the case on the merits this Wednesday, but both the plaintiffs and the respondents objected to that. “We need time to prepare answers to the plaintiffs now that their claims were at last formulated clearly and juridically correctly,” Lototskaya said.
She noted that this Wednesday the plaintiffs attached to the materials of the case the video recording and the translation into Russian of Madonna’s address to the audience that prompted the complaint.
Lototskaya refrained from commenting on the stand of the defense, saying that this would be premature. “I hope that the verdict on the case will be passed on November 22,” she said.
Just as previously, Madonna’s representatives failed to show up in court on Wednesday. “I don’t think her representatives will be here,” Lototskaya said.
Darya Dedova, representing a public organization nine members of which had filed the lawsuit against the singer, said this is disrespect for Russian justice. She still expressed the hope that the pop diva’s representatives would be present at the trial.
Both sides, however, are not sure the singer is aware of the hearing in St Petersburg.
“Now we will be able to make our case,” Dedova said regarding the fact that the date for the hearing had been fixed. She said the PMI Corporation and the Peterburgsky sports-and-concert hall, where the show took place, indicated as the co-respondents in the lawsuit, “are guilty of advertising homosexuality.”
The plaintiffs hold that Madonna violated the local law by expressing support for Russian sex minorities at her show in St Petersburg. Administrative responsibility for propaganda of homosexuality and other forms of untraditional love among minors and propaganda of pedophilia was imposed in the city in March 2012.