Turkish court finally accepts new indictment in Dink murder case
An Istanbul court has finally accepted a prosecutor’s third indictment into the murder of Hrant Dink in which 51 suspects, including the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, former prosecutor Zekeriya Öz and former daily Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı, are accused of murdering the prominent Armenian-Turkish journalist, Dogan News Agency reported May 29.
The Istanbul 14th Court of Serious Crimes launched proceedings in the new indictment after twice returning it to prosecutor Gokalp Kokchu on the grounds that it was incomplete, first on May 10 and again on May 24, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
After the court’s second decision, the prosecutor’s office appealed to a higher court, the Istanbul 15th Court of Serious Crimes, which ruled in favor of the prosecutor’s office, thereby resulting in the approval of the indictment.
Dink was shot dead at the age of 52 in broad daylight outside the offices of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos, which he founded, in central Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007.
Ogun Samast, then a 17-year-old jobless high-school dropout, confessed to the murder and was sentenced to almost 23 years in jail in 2011.
But the case grew into a wider scandal after it emerged that the security forces had been aware of a plot to kill Dink but failed to act.
The new indictment accuses the Gülen movement of involvement in the journalist’s murder a decade ago and was completed separately from the case into the murder.
The suspects, 28 of whom are under arrest, includes Gulen, who is also accused of masterminding the July 2016 failed coup attempt; Oz; Dumanli; journalists Adem Yavuz Arslan, Ercan Gun and Faruk Mercan; dismissed Brig. Hamza Celepoğlu; Trabzon gendarmerie province Cmdr. Ali Öz; Trabzon gendarmerie intelligence head Metin Yıldız and Istanbul gendarmerie intelligence personnel Cpt. Muharrem Demirkale.