ANKARA: No Probe Into Police Chief In Dink Murder Case


Today’s Zaman
July 23 2008

An Ä°stanbul court on Tuesday ruled against a demand to start an
investigation into Ä°stanbul Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah and
seven other police officers, including former Police Department
Intelligence Bureau Chief Ahmet Ä°lhan Guler, who were accused of
having disregarded intelligence information regarding a plot to kill
Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was shot dead outside
his office in January of last year.

Earlier, lawyers representing the Dink family appealed against
Ä°stanbul Governor Muammer Guler’s refusal to grant his legally
required permission to start an investigation into the role of Chief
of Police Cerrah, who the prosecution says disregarded important
intelligence information that could possibly have saved Dink’s life.

Permission granted by the Ä°stanbul governor to investigate whether
the seven other officers are responsible in any way was annulled by
the court yesterday after Ahmet Ä°lhan Guler filed a case contesting
the governor’s decision.

Sadettin Yaman, one of the judges on the panel, objected to the
majority ruling.

Since the trial of suspects in the Dink murder started last year,
lawyers representing the Dink family have questioned the fairness
of the trial many times. One of the suspects in the case is a former
police informant.

Dink’s lawyers also claimed that information needed for the prosecution
and demanded by the court was denied by the police, which they say
has been withholding critical information on some of the suspects
and their relationship to some police officers.

There have also been a series of police lapses in the handling of the
Dink case, which many say are attempts to protect those who plotted
the crime.

Dink was gunned down in broad daylight on Jan. 19 in front of the
headquarters of bilingual Armenian weekly Agos, of which he was the
editor-in-chief. Following Dink’s murder, many reports suggested that
the police were tipped off about the planned assassination more than
once prior to his execution, yet failed to prevent it.