Bangladesh to separate judiciary from executive

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DHAKA, Oct 23 (Reuters) Bangladesh's army-backed interim government said today it is creating an independent judiciary, separate from the executive, from the beginning of next month.

''We are moving forward, separation of the judiciary from the executive control is being implemented from Nov. 1,'' said Mainul Husein, law and information adviser to the government.

Officials in the administrative cadre have for decades been enjoying both judicial and executive powers simultaneously, turning many civil bureaucrats into power barons. Army chief Gen. Moeen U.

Ahmed, now visiting the United States, said the process of separating the judiciary from the executive had to be started right now, ''or else it would never happen''.

Moeen said elected governments had made commitments over the last 15 years to separate the judiciary from the executive to ensure justice for all, but none of them followed through.

''The present government has shown a firm resolve to implement it and everyone should support it,'' Bangladesh media quoted him as saying on Monday at meeting of Bangladeshis in Boston.

Bangladesh has been under a state of emergency since the interim government, headed by former central bank governor Fakhruddin Ahmed, took office in January after months of deadly political violence.

It has vowed to hold a free and fair election late next year, after completing a drive against corruption.

REUTERS SZ PM1855

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