Journalists await Pussy Riot sentence in court while police are stepping up their presence outside Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court

Some 100 journalists from all over the world will come to the Moscow Khamovnichesky Court on Friday to cover the sentence of the Pussy Riot activists.

"We have accredited 72 television and radio companies, both Russian and foreign," court press officer Darya Lakh told Interfax, adding that there are Japanese and Australian companies among them.

"Seventy-two people are just those reporters who are required to get permission for videoing and photographing. Besides them, there will be journalists from press publications, including newspapers, information agencies, and Internet portals," she said.

A total of 100 people are expected to come to the courtroom, she said.

At the same time, Lakh recalled that a room will be set up for journalists and the trial participants, where the trial will be broadcast on video. The trial will also be broadcast online on the court website.

Meanwhile, Police are stepping up their presence outside Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court, which is expected to hand down its verdict in the Pussy Riot case.

The street leading to the court building was cordoned off by metal barriers at 8:00 a.m. Moscow time, an Interfax correspondent reported. More than ten police buses are parked nearby.

This part of the street has temporarily been closed off both to pedestrians and cars.

Defense lawyers representing the defendants earlier announced plans to hold a rally in support of the Pussy Riot members.

People who are not indifferent to the girls' fate will gathered outside the court building on August 17, the lawyers said, calling on demonstrators to behave peacefully and support the defendants by exclusively legal methods.

Several political and cultural figures have announced their readiness to join the action, among then writer Boris Akunin, actress Chulpan Khamatova, as well as opposition activists Alexei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov.

Opponents of the Pussy Riot band promised to come to the court building as well. Activists of the Moscow branch of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party will stage a picket in support of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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