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Turkey moves to curb powers of judiciary

AFP , Wednesday 8 Jan 2014
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Turkey has moved to curb the powers of the country's top independent judicial body, triggering concern Wednesday from Europe's top human rights watchdog.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) submitted a bill Tuesday seeking constitutional amendments to restructure the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), the latest twist in the political crisis rocking Turkey.

Justice Minister Beckir Bozdag also said that the government would block an investigation by the HSYK into alleged political pressure on police and prosecutors involved in a graft probe targeting key allies of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The moves against the judiciary triggered concern from the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks.

"Proposals to curb powers of HSYK represent serious setback for the independence of the judiciary in Turkey," he said in a tweet on Wednesday.

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