MOSCOW, Russia (CBS) -- A bomb scare at a Moscow court house on Thursday delayed a trial in which three members of an anti-Putin punk band are being tried over an anti-Putin "punk prayer" the women's band performed on the altar of Moscow's main cathedral in February.
The courthouse was temporarily evacuated after someone phoned in a bomb threat.
Opposition groups say the trial is one of a series of moves by Putin to silence the anti-Kremlin movement, which has in the past eight months organized the biggest protests since he first rose to power in 2000.
The trio is charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and face up to seven years in prison.
Defense lawyers said they expected a guilty verdict within the next couple of days.
"In this situation it is very likely that the court will reach a decision in the next few days. One way or another, we should expect the verdict any day now. The verdict will be guilty, and we can't definitely rely now on anything changing the course of this trial," Mark Feigin, a lawyer for the punk group told journalists.
Another defense lawyer, Nikolai Polozov, said they were planning ways to show that the case was politically motivated.
"Besides, (we will call) a number of well-known politicians who will confirm that there is a political component to this trial. That these girls took part in political actions, and that the motive of their actions was not any sort of religious hatred as the prosecution is trying to present, but rather that this case has an exclusively political motivation to it so that our defendants are punished for the words and the opinions that they voiced," Polozov said.
One of the band's lawyers said on Wednesday that Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, had been woken up at 5 a.m. and kept in a tiny room for hours without breakfast before going to court. Alyokhina felt ill during Wednesday's proceedings.
The three were delivered to the courthouse early on Thursday for another day of hearings that last late into the evening, meaning the women get back to their cells long after midnight.
At the start of the trial on Monday, the women said they meant no offence and were motivated by anger over support for Putin from the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, during this year's presidential election campaign.
Defense lawyers say the authorities want to swiftly wrap up the high-profile trial, which has touched off a debate over the close ties between church and state, while public attention is relatively low because of summer vacations.