BAKU: Armenian journalist’s killing ordered by Chechen-trained man

AssA-Irada, Azerbaijan
January 22, 2007 Monday


The individual who ordered the murder of the editor-in-chief of
Istanbul-based Armenian-speaking Agos newspaper had been trained at a
Chechen camp in Azerbaijan, The International Herald Tribune
newspaper has claimed. A story, entitled More suspects in Hrant Dinks
murder case maintained that Yasin Hayal, who had earlier served a
year-long sentence over the 2004 explosion at a McDonalds restaurant
in Trabzon, learnt to make bombs at a Chechen training camp in

Turkish TV channels have issued reports suggesting that Hayal had
indeed gone to Chechnya to fight and was then detained in Azerbaijan
and extradited to Turkey. The Azerbaijan National Security Ministry
spokesman Arif Babayev dismissed the reports as groundless. I am very
disappointed that such an influential newspaper has published the
erroneous report. Allegations that there are Chechen training camps
in Azerbaijan have been made before, but none of them have been
confirmed, Babayev said. He did not rule out that Azerbaijans
long-time foes Armenians had a hand in publishing the outrageous
story. Hrant Dink was gunned down by unidentified individuals on
Friday while he was leaving the editorial office. On Sunday, the
17-year-old Ogun Samast believed to have committed the crime was
arrested. Samast testified that his close friend Yasin Hayal, 26, who
was a member of the clandestine Nizami-Alem religious organization,
ordered the killing and provided him with the needed weapon. After
the testimony, Turkish police arrested Hayal and ten more persons on
suspicion of involvement in the crime.

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