MOSCOW, July 20 - RAPSI. Moscow's Khamovnichesky District Court has refused to grant a petition filed by Pussy Riot female punk group members to summon President Vladimir Putin and Orthodox Church head Patriarch Kirill as witnesses, defense attorney Nikolai Polozov told journalists on Friday.

"We have filed a motion to summon experts and witnesses, about 30 individuals in all, including Putin and the patriarch," he said."

He said he tried to submit the motion to the court chancellery, but that the employees refused to accept it.

On February 21, five masked members of the Pussy Riot punk group performed a protest song titled "Holy Sh*t" at the altar of the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.
A video of their performance that was posted on the Internet incited a major public uproar. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Mariya Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested. They face up to seven years in prison on hooliganism charges.