Defendant's legal rights violated, Khodorkovsky counsel says

'We see in the Khodorkovsky case the violation of the rights of the accused and of his lawyers,' Karin Moskalenko, an attorney for Mikhail Khodorskovsky, declared Tuesday on radio station Ekho Moskvi. She said the defense had been deprived of its most basic right-the opportunity to make itself acquainted with the materials of the case. She said the defense was given only two hours at Monday's court hearing on the case in the Basman District court in Moscow to acquaint itself with the accumulated case material. 'We stated that that was insufficient time and that we had to discuss our position with the accused after studying the material. But the judge declared the time sufficient,' Moskalenko said. She described as 'a monstrosity that compromises a person's right to defend himself' the accepted practice of having the accused and his attorney discuss how to conduct the case in the courtroom and while the defendant is in a special cage. 'It should be noted that the right to prepare a defendant is affirmed in the International Convention on Human Rights,' Moskalenko stressed. 'I made reference to these norms, but, unfortunately, our court did not accept the arguments.'

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