ANKARA: No Permission To Investigate Cerrah In Dink Murder


Turkish Daily News
July 23 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ISTANBUL – TDN with wire dispatches

Police officers from the Istanbul Police Department, including the
police chief and a former intelligence unit head, will not be tried
for neglect of duty in the murder of prominent Turkish-Armenian
journalist Hrant Dink, news agencies reported yesterday.

The Istanbul Regional Administrative Court, ending a legal process of
one and a half years, decided on June 27 not to allow any investigation
of the police officers, including Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah
and former intelligence unit chief Ahmet Ä°lhan. After Dink’s murder
on January 19, 2007, the Istanbul Governor’s Office had decided to
give permission for an investigation against Ä°lhan and six other
police officers from the police intelligence unit, private NTV news
site reported. However, the governor’s office did not allow any
investigation against Cerrah. Ä°lhan and six officers had objected
to the decision, while lawyers for the Dink family objected to the
decision about Cerrah.

Only one court member, Sadettin Yaman, voted to allow the investigation
of Cerrah, saying that, as the police chief, Cerrah had responsibility
in the event, despite allegations that there had been information
about Dink’s murder but that the flow of information to Istanbul
police was not sufficient. Istanbul’s police were criticized after
Dink’s murder for not providing a guard for Dink despite the fact
that there had been threats against him. In his dissenting vote,
Yaman said that providing Dink with "personal, physical and spatial
protection is a natural result of the state of law."

Dink, the editor-in-chief of multi-lingual weekly Agos, was shot to
death in front of the newspaper’s building in the central district
of Å~^iÅ~_li. Ogun Samast, the juvenile murder suspect in the Dink
case, was arrested in the Black Sea province of Samsun one day after
the murder.