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Lawyers Stage Walkout In Armenian Opposition Case

YEREVAN -- Lawyers defending seven Armenian opposition figures walked out of the courtroom on March 16 in protest of what they say are illegal judicial proceedings.

At issue is a ruling by the judge that the trial go forward without the defendants -- who are accused of staging a coup against the government -- and one of their lawyers.

The decision, lawyers said, violates Armenian judicial system rules.

Ruben Sahakian, chairman of the Chamber of Advocates, told RFE/RL's Armenian Service that "a judge breaking the law has no right to administer justice."

The charges stem from violence between security forces and opposition protesters on March 1, 2008, that left 10 dead and more than 200 wounded after the controversial presidential election.