Sunday, January 15, 2012

Still in Search of Justice, But Perhaps Closer to It

PHOTO from Birgün

New evidence presented on Tuesday to judges overseeing the Hrant Dink case has given further credence to the claim of Dink's lawyers that the Turkish Armenian journalist's murder was the work of an organized effort that included state elements.

Telephone records long sought by Dink's lawyers revealed conversations between the assassins currently on trial and five other people in the vicinity of the crime scene, in addition to 14 other people who were called from the crime scene and had connections to the defendants and other suspects in the case (for Bianet's more detailed report of the evidence presented, click here). For a full account of the hearing from Birgün, which has closely covered the case and positioned itself firmly in line with Dink's lawyers, click here.

The new evidence raises the possibility of another investigation, though judges hearing the unwieldy trial have expressed their desire to conclude it on Jan. 17. If this occurs, even more suspects could be named and evidence put forward that would further link suspects to police in Istanbul and gendarme officers in Trabzon, from where the murder plot was hatched.

Dink's lawyers have long demanded the release of the telephone records at the heart of the new discovery, though the police and the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) have been reluctant to turn them over. The records were released to Dink's lawyers just this November after a months-long ordeal and plenty of conflicting excuses from the TIB. Prosecutors in the case maintain there is nothing new in the records, a claim with which the judges hearing it on Tuesday seemed to concur, though this seems hardly the case.

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