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    COURT SAYS NO AS BANKER IN DOCK ASKS NOT TO SEE "JUDICIAL FARCE"

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 4 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Hearings on the Platon Lebedev case are on at the Basmanny district court, Moscow. Today, the court was considering an application by the federal Prosecutor General's office to bring closer a deadline for the defendant reading his file.

    "I refuse to take part in this farce. Please allow me to leave the courtroom," said Mr. Lebedev after the court flatly turned down his three requests, one after another, to have a magnifying glass, Xerox copies of court minutes, and a calculator in his detention cell. A fourth "no" followed outright.

    The defendant is deliberately marking time perusing his file - he reads it only from 1 p.m. to 3, and even that not every day. He started reading as long ago as last August, the public prosecutor said to court.

    The Prosecutor General's investigators indicted Platon Lebedev, Menatep bank president, on seven Criminal Code clauses - in particular, tax evasion and fraud.

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