A Moscow judge wrapped up the trial of three feminist punk rockers on Wednesday and said she would issue a verdict in the controversial case next week.

Prosecutors have called for three-year prison sentences for the Pussy Riot band members, who have already been in custody for five months after giving an impromptu performance in Moscow's main cathedral to call for an end to Vladimir Putin's rule.

The three women — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23; Maria Alekhina, 24; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29 — high-kicked and danced as they belted out their "punk prayer" in Christ the Savior Cathedral in February.

They were charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years.

Their case has sharply divided Russia. Some believers felt offended, while other Russians have been angered by what they see as repressive treatment for the expression of political beliefs. Orthodox leaders have ignored calls to pardon the women and urge the court to dismiss the case.

The trial has been seen as part of the widening government crackdown on dissent that followed Putin's election in March to a third presidential term.

"With every day an increasing number of people start to realize that if the political machine turned against girls who performed in the Christ the Savior Cathedral for 40 seconds, this means only that this political system is scared of the truth and the sincerity that we bring," Tolokonnikova said in her final words, addressing a packed courtroom.

Tolokonnikova, dressed in jeans and a blue T-shirt with the words "No Pasaran!" on it, said in a trembling voice, looking at prosecutors: "We have more freedom than all those people from the prosecution in front of me — because we can say what we want."

Defence lawyers said that activists around the world will show their solidarity with the band by holding a global protest on Aug. 17, the day Judge Marina Syrova is to issue her verdict.

A prayer from Madonna

Amnesty International has called the women prisoners of conscience. Musicians including Madonna, the Who's Pete Townsend and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys have urged their release.

Madonna voiced support for Pussy Riot at a Tuesday night concert in Moscow, saying she'd "pray for them."

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In this cellphone image from Tuesday, Madonna performs during her concert at Olympic Hall in Moscow, with the words 'Pussy Riot' on her bare back. (Oleg Sharan/Associated Press)

She then turned her bare back, which had "Pussy Riot" written on it, to the audience and put on the mask. Pussy Riot band members make it a point to wear the masks, or balaclavas, which have become a symbol for the group.

Madonna went on to sing her 1990s hit Human Nature.

Madonna told The Associated Press earlier during her stay in Moscow that she "hopes that the judge is lenient" with the band members.