Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko said that she has filed a motion with Judge Rodion Kireyev on admitting four new defense lawyers to her case – two representing the US law firm Covington & Burling LLP and the auditing firm BDO and two Ukrainians: Mykola Siryi and Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk.

"Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk is a lawyer with more than 20 years of experience, and a deep knowledge of the criminal process. Mykola Siryi is well known in research circles, a PhD in law, he works at the Koretsky Institute of State and Law of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. These are people who, in my opinion, can prove to society and the entire world the absurdity that is taking place in Ukrainian courts," Yulia Tymoshenko told journalists before the start of today’s court hearing, according to Tymoshenko's official website.

In total, there will be five lawyers defending her.

Lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko stressed that what transpired during the July 15 court hearing was a violation of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). "We witnessed the arbitrary behavior of a person in charge of the judicial process, the defense lawyers were removed and Yulia Tymoshenko was denied the opportunity to defend herself because she was thrown out of the courtroom in violation of the CPC.

"In European countries the defendant has the right to defend himself. Judge Kireyev, with the help of the prosecutors, obstructed this right," added Mykola Siryi.

Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk added that on July 15 Judge Kireyev didn’t allow him to participate in the process. "The court exceeded its authority in removing people from the courtroom because there is no regulation on the removal of people from the courtroom. Moreover, there is no regulation that provides for the removal of a defense lawyer form the court," he said.

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