By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Ukrainian prosecutors have begun legal proceedings against the German techno band Scooter, and it faces significant legal consequences for performing at a festival in Crimea on August 4, the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany said.
Ukrainian envoy Andriy Melnyk said on Facebook and in an interview with the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain that the band’s decision to enter Crimea, which Russia annexed illegally in 2014, was “not only a scandal, but also a crime with serious legal consequences.”
The band appeared at the ZBFest rock festival in Balaklava.
“This isn’t some minor infraction, but a serious crime that will be punished,” Melnyk told the newspaper chain.
Ukrainian prosecutors said the band’s members were warned against going to Crimea and could face up to eight years in prison.
“Such illegal actions committed by foreign citizens and world celebrities, who can…influence the opinion of their fans, impede Ukraine’s efforts towards restoring its territorial integrity,” the prosecutor’s office said.
Scooter front man H.P. Baxxte said last month the band was going to Crimea to perform music for its fans there, not to engage in politics.
No comment was immediately available from the band on the prosecutor’s charges.