Bloodhound Gang Face Criminal Case In Russia
Moscow has accused two members of US band The Bloodhound Gang of inciting hatred after one of them stuffed a Russian flag down his trousers.
Bassist Evil Jared Hasselhoff put the flag down the front of his trousers, pulled it out from the back and threw it into the crowd at a concert in late July in Ukraine.
The incident provoked outrage after videos were posted on YouTube.
Russia's powerful Investigative Committee said it had opened a criminal probe examining the possible guilt of Hasselhoff, referred to by his real name Jared Hennegan, as well as vocalist James Franks.
The committee accused the pair of inciting hatred in an organised group.
If charged and found guilty, they could face up to five years in a penal colony.
Other suspects could be implicated, the committee added.
The Bloodhound Gang, who were founded in 1991, have had hits including The Bad Touch and The Ballad Of Chasey Lain.
The committee said it suspected the men of plotting to carry out acts aimed at "humiliating the human dignity of citizens of Russia".
Russia's Interior Ministry said last month it was investigating whether to charge the men with a lesser offence of desecrating a Russian flag, which carries a maximum jail term of one year.
The Investigative Committee said in the statement that foreigners who do not live in Russia can face criminal responsibility if their crime was directed against the interests of Russia and Russians.
Ukraine last month banned Hasselhoff from visiting for five years after videos were published on the web of him urinating on stage on a Ukrainian flag.