ANKARA: Court Asks Police, Gendarmerie If Dink Murder Suspect Was In


Today’s Zaman
July 25 2009

The Trabzon 2nd Peace Court continued hearing evidence in the Dink
murder trial yesterday and decided that a letter should be written
to Trabzon Gendarmerie Command to ask whether or not there was an
investigation into Yasin Hayal, the prime suspect in the assassination,
prior to the Jan. 19, 2007 murder.

A witness who testified on July 6 at the Istanbul 14th Higher Criminal
Court in the murder trial of Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist
assassinated by an ultra-nationalist teenager, stated that he saw one
of the prime suspects in the case at the Trabzon Gendarmerie Command
before the murder.

Dink family lawyer Hakan Bakırcıoglu pointed out that the police
should investigate very carefully how the assassination plan was
devised, how Dink was targeted and how the murder was carried out. He
also said Ä°stanbul and Trabzon police department officials with
suspected links to the murder should be called to account.

An investigation following the Dink assassination revealed that a group
of ultranationalists was behind the murder. Strong evidence suggested
that some members of the group had ties with the police department in
Trabzon, the hometown of the plotters. Some gendarmes later confirmed
that they had been tipped off about the plot to kill Dink before the
murder was committed. Dink family lawyers have frequently alleged
that police have attempted to obscure evidence.

The Trabzon court also decided that the results of any investigation
carried out into Hayal, who might have incited the murder, should be
sent to the court. In addition, the court decided that the gendarmerie
should also inform the court if any relevant investigations had been
carried out prior to the murder. Bakırcıoglu also asked the court
that testimony given by Å~^ahin, in court as part of an investigation
into a clandestine organization, should be presented to them since
he is also a suspect in the Dink case.