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a person held criminally responsible in the manner prescribed by law. Under Soviet law a person is deemed accused from the moment that a decree has been rendered stating the accusation, with an indication of the circumstances of the crime with which the accused is being charged and with a reference to the appropriate criminal law. The accused has extensive rights in defending himself against the accusation. He may give testimony, submit petitions, present evidence, become acquainted with the materials of the case, make challenges, submit appeals, and use his native language during the investigation and court hearing. Investigative agencies must create the conditions necessary to protect the rights of the accused. These agencies have a right to apply measures of restraint and to take other steps to establish the truth.
From the moment that the investigation ends or, in instances provided for by law, from the moment that the accusation is presented, the accused is permitted to have a defense counsel. In cases involving minors and other persons who are unable to exercise fully their procedural rights, the accused’s legal representatives participate in the case along with him.
When the accused is brought to trial he is called a prisoner, and if he is found guilty by the court he becomes a convicted person.