A brief addendum to this post: in Italy as in Russia, prosecutors and judges often work as one team.
While they were busy with the defendant, the judge would walk out into another room serving as her makeshift chambers where the prosecutor joined her. The defense counsel and human rights observers could hear her laughing and chatting with the prosecutor.
This, from what I have read, is not at all unusual in Russian courts. Compare this to what Nina Burleigh writes in The Fatal Gift of Beauty:
A peculiarity of Italian law… is that judges and prosecutors are technically on the same side, while judges are also asked to impartially weigh evidence. They come out of the same training program, and it is not uncommon to find judges and prosecutors lunching together during trials…
It’s a feature, not a bug; a peculiarity inherent in inquisitorial legal systems.