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Ukrainian President Calls For Higher Salaries For Judges

President Viktor Yushchenko (file photo) (epa) 2 Nov ember 2 005 -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has called for judges' salaries to be increased as part of a bid to end bribe taking.

Opening a judicial conference in Kyiv today, Yuschenko proposed that judges' salaries be raised by nearly 50 percent -- to the equivalent of $760 per month. Reports say that is nearly five times the average national salary of about $160.

Yushchenko admitted that Ukrainian courts still don't operate transparently, and that the number of complaints against judges continues to rise.

He said the European Court of Human Rights received some 9,000 appeals last year from Ukrainians who complained that their rights were violated during court proceedings.

Yushchenko, who came to power in January, has made court reform and the struggle against corruption top priorities for his government.