Monday, June 7, 2010

Victory for Nedim Sener

Milliyet journalist Nedim Sener was acquitted Friday after being charged in relation to his book looking into the Dink murder and subsequent investigation. From Hurriyet Daily News:
The journalist faced trial for “making targets of civil servants,” “obtaining secret documents” and “exposing secret documents” in his book, “Hrant Dink Cinayeti ve İstihbarat Yalanları” (The Hrant Dink Murder and Intelligence Lies).

The court concluded that some of the plaintiff names were already known by the public before the book’s release and that the so-called secret documents in the book were accessible in the Dink assassination case before its publication.

“I do not approve of the case’s participants washing their dirty hands with this file,” said Şener, who attended the hearing, as did one of the plaintiffs, security officer Muhittin Zenit. Two of the case’s other plaintiffs, security officers Ali Fuat Yılmazer and Faruk Sarı, were represented by their lawyer at the hearing. The lawyer of plaintiff Ramazan Akyürek did not attend the hearing.

“Since my code name was uncovered, I have become a target of terror organizations. The change of my code name will not amend the situation,” Zenit said at the hearing.

Public Prosecutor Celal Kara repeated his request on the case, demanding a one- to three-year prison sentence for Şener on the count of “making targets of civil servants fighting terrorism.” He dropped the other charges since the “secret” documents in the book were no longer classified.

Şener’s lawyer Yücel Döşemeci said Zenit’s name and code name were mentioned in the indictment at the court dealing with the Hrant Dink assassination, and that Akyürek’s assignment was announced in the Official Gazette. “My client has not written on anything other than what is already known by the Istanbul court,” Döşemeci added.
For more in-depth coverage of the trial, see Bianet. Sener's trial helped bring Dink's murder back into the public conscience when former Intelligence Unit Chief Sabri Uzun's testimony in his trial verified information in Sener's book: some intelligence officers working surveillance on Dink's assassins had hidden/falsified information before Dink's murder (see April 29 post). For more background, see Feb. 11 and June 28, 2009 posts.

In other news on the Dink front, Dink family lawyer Hakan Karadag was found dead in his house on Friday, though initial reports from those close to him indicate that Karadag probbably committed suicide. Additionally, the trial of eight gendarmerie officers in Trabzon continued on Monday, and is expected to wrap up with the defense of the officers of July 28. Dink lawyers are still requesting that the Trabzon case be merged with the case in Istanbul, but to no avail.

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