Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Some Progress on the Dink Front

Dink assassin Ogun Samast posing with police officers who arrested him just two days after Dink's murder.

The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office have granted the request of Dink family lawyers that an investigation be launched into the involvement of high-level security officials into the 2007 assassination of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. From Hurriyet Daily News:
This is an extremely good, positive development. I hope there will be a result [from] this,” Dink family lawyer Fethiye Çetin told a crowd of journalists during the court recess. She said they were expecting the investigation as they had applied to the prosecutor’s office Jan. 17, demanding that rulings made on the case by the European Court of Human Rights be implemented in Turkey.

The Dink family recently made a new plea for state, police and gendarmerie officials not questioned during the initial investigation to be brought into the scope of the case, basing their request on the European court decision finding Turkey guilty of failing to protect Dink and his freedom of speech and of not properly investigating civil servants suspected of being negligent in the murder and its investigation.

. . . .

The 28 public officials whose testimonies are expected to be taken by Public Prosecutor with Special Authority Mustafa Çavuşoğlu in the coming days include former Istanbul Gov. Muammer Güler; Ramazan Akyürek, the former top head of police intelligence; former Istanbul Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah; Ahmet İlhan Güler, the former Istanbul head of police intelligence; former Trabzon Police Chief Reşat Altay; Col. Ali Öz, the former Gendarmerie Trabzon regiment commander; and Metin Yıldız, the former Trabzon head of gendarmerie intelligence.
Last week President Gul announced that the State Audit Board (DDK) open a separate investigation into Dink's murder. Both investigations are indicators that the government is getting serious about resolving the facts behind Dink's murder. For more on Dink, see past posts.

UPDATE I (2/10) -- Interior Minister Besir Atalay is denying reports that the Istanbul Chief Proescutor's Office has opened up an investigation. Meanwhile newly released phone records verify long-time allegations that police exchanged text messages in the months prior to Dink's assassination. Previous evidence existed that police exchanged phone messages with Tuncel just two hours before Dink's assassination.

UPDATE II (2/15) -- In a new development in the ongoing Dink trial in Istanbul, the Trabzon Chief Prosecutor's Office has announced that it would allow the Istanbul court to question Trabzon police officers in communication with Tuncel up to the day of Dink's murder. Previous requests had been denied.

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