Monday, February 20, 2012

Reason to Hope?

PHOTO from Milliyet

The President's State Inspection Board today released its report on the assassination of Hrant Dink. The 649-page report comes one month after the court hearing the case of 18 defendants accused of organizing the plot found no evidence to establish a connection that Dink's murder was not but a random act of violence carried out by a few ultra-nationalist youth--not the state-linked conspiracy which Dink's lawyers and supporters have alleged was at work. For background, click here. The report, though not binding, sends a powerful message to the Supreme Court of Appeals to re-open the investigation and commence a new trial, a decision that should come by year's end.

The State Inspection Board decided to release its report following the public outcry after the Dink trial came to a close, which at the time the president and other AKP officials cautiously denounced while urging the public to wait for the appeals process to come to an end. Its contents blame Dink's death in part on the negligence of state officials, and suggests that the trial of those officials should have never occurred separate from the trial of the 18 defendants, a point argued by Dink's lawyers from the very beginning.

According to Milliyet, the report also documents lack of coordination between the gendarme in Trabzon and police in Trabzon and Istanbul, as well as calls into question the Samsun police officers who were shown posing with Dink's young killer, Ogun Samast, days after the murder. Just as  importantly, it calls into doubt the work of the Istanbul court and its verdict, citing that the investigation failed to take into account possible connections between the accused conspirators and state officials.

UPDATE I (2/25) -- The full verdict of the Istanbul court has been released one month after being announced. It points to the possible existence of links between the conspirators and the state, but as the chief judge Rustem Erilyilmaz told media soon after the trial's conclusion, argues the court lacked evidence to issue a ruling on the matter.

No comments: