MOSCOW, October 27 (RAPSI, Alexei Afonsky) – Chairman of the Moscow City Bar Association (MCBA) Genri Reznik told journalists on Monday that basic rights to a fair hearing and presumption of innocence are violated in Russian courts.

Judges instead of serving as independent arbiters usually copy indictments filed by prosecutors in criminal proceedings, Reznik said.

Defendants are considered to be guilty before they are indicted and sentenced even by mass media outlets, according to him.

Taking into account the existing judicial practice, investigators and prosecutors are percieved as crusadors, whereas defense attorneys are considered to constitute 'axis of evil', Reznik said. 

"This practice must be changed," he added.