Attorney Kirby Riffel of Pocahontas has practiced law in Arkansas for 38 years. He recently shared some of his expertise during a visit to Ukraine in Eastern Europe, a trip he took at the behest of the American Bar Association, Today's THV reported.

Riffel says lawyers in Ukraine are learning how to operate in a system in which defendants have broad rights. Riffel said that under the system imposed by the Soviets, all defendants were presumed guilty. A few could convince a prosecutor to drop charges, but the most efficient way to escape punishment was to pay bribes.

Now, Ukraine has a constitution that provides protections for defendants, but lawyers and judges are only starting to learn how to employ those provisions.

Riffel says he hopes the system improves and that, if he returns, he will find some defense lawyers helping clients.

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