(AP) A Russian court is to consider whether one of the jailed Pussy Riot band members is eligible for early release.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who has been in custody since her arrest last March, is serving a two-year sentence for the band's irreverent protest against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral.
A court in Zubova Polyana opened the hearings Friday morning as dozens of journalists descended on this small town in the central province of Mordovia, home to a sprawling web of Soviet-era prison camps.
Tolokonnikova, 23, and two other female members of the punk band were convicted last year of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for an anti-Vladimir Putin performance at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. One of the women has had her sentence suspended on appeal.