ISTANBUL: Investigations in Dink case settled out of court

Hurriyet, Turkey
Aug 22 2012

Investigations in Dink case settled out of court

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
by Erdem GüneÅ?

A recent response from Interior Minister to a question raised in the
Parliament reveals that 41 investigations against police officers
named in the case of assassinated journalist Hrant Dink were settled
out of court

The Dink family lawyers say they will take the case to the ECHR after
exhausting all domestic legal avenues one more time, while Dink’s
brother Orhan Dink says `this was the scenario’s last scene.’

The Interior Ministry has revealed that the police officers
investigated within the case of Hrant Dink’s assassination did not
receive any judicial punishment apart from the forfeiture of pay and a
reprimand.

Cem Halavut, one of the intervening lawyers of the case said
administrative punishments like forfeiture of pay and condemning an
officer were not what they demanded as they had asked for the officers
to be taken to court and tried.

`Prosecutors say they could not reach the evidences, administrations
of institutions say they did their share and that the ball is in the
prosecutors’ court. This shows that they pass the ball around well,’
Halavut told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday in a phone interview.

Any new investigation kicked off at this point will find it nearly
impossible to reach the evidence as six years have passed since the
murder, Halavut said.

He also said there were numerous documents and evidences revealing the
responsibility of public personnel in the murder.

The Interior Ministry announced the judicial and administrative
proceedings for the law enforcement officers who were found
responsible in the assassination of Armenian journalist Dink.
According to the announcement, no judicial investigation authority was
given to eight police officers, `no need for an additional
prosecution’ was decided for 31 officers, and two officers were
acquitted.

Orhan Dink, the brother of Hrant Dink, said his family was despairing
of justice.

`There is nothing to be surprised about this. We had demanded an
effective official investigation but it failed. The large part of the
State Supervisory Council’s (DDK) murder report argued that the
judicial process was problematic and that police officers were not
investigated since their chiefs’ permission was not taken,’ he told
the Daily News.

Dink said the authorities do not want to extend the case over a long
period of time to ensure the public forgets what happened.

Halavut also said they have been waiting for the Supreme Court of
Appeals’ verdict which will be the end of the domestic judicial
process. If necessary they will take the case to the European Court of
Human Rights (ECHR).

After Hrant Dink, the chief editor of weekly Agos, was assassinated in
Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007, judicial and administrative investigations
were launched against public personnel, including police and
gendarmerie, whose negligence was detected to be effective in the
murder. The results of the investigations were brought to the Turkish
Parliament’s agenda with the written parliamentary question issued by
the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Sezgin Tanrıkulu. The
Interior Minister Ä°dris Naim Å?ahin’s response to the question reached
the Parliament Speaker’s Office.

`Within the preliminary investigation about Hrant Dink’s murder, all
the necessary works were conducted in accordance with the orders of
Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office, and all the information obtained
for the identification of offenders was sent to the chief prosecutor’s
office and added to the investigation file at the earliest possible
opportunity,’ Å?ahin said in a written response to the parliamentary
question.

Å?ahin also announced the results of the judicial and administrative
procedures launched for police and gendarme officers detected in
Trabzon and Istanbul. Å?ahin made 41 decisions about the officers and
each of them included impunity. `The authorized court decided to give
no judicial investigation authority to eight police officers, and
decided that there was no need for an additional prosecution for 31
officers. Two officers were acquitted and the prosecutor’s
investigation about one officer is still ongoing,’ Å?ahin said.

`Four gendarme officers were charged with four-month prison sentences,
one was charged with a six-month prison sentence and two officers were
acquitted,’ Å?ahin said about the gendarme officers.

`One officer got long-term suspension, five received forfeitures of
pay, three received reprimand and one received warning on the grounds
that their negligence affected the incident,’ Å?ahin said about the
administrative punishments given to the officers.
August/22/2012

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