HRANT DINK MURDER TRIAL: 4 YEARS LATER: COURT CONSIDERS ADDITIONAL SUSPECT

BIAnet.org
May 31 2011
Turkey

The court eventually decided to investigate who else was involved in
the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Dink. Osman Hayal will be
investigated. Cell phone records are requested from TİB and three
GSM operators. The trial was postponed to 29 July.

Erol ~VNDERO~^LU [email protected] Istanbul - BİA News Center31 May
2011, Tuesday At the hearing on Monday (30 May), four and a half years
after the start of the trial, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court
made a move towards investigating who else was involved in the murder
of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Ever since the beginning
of the trial in 2007, allegations were made that at least one other
person besides triggerman suspect Ogün Samast had been involved.

Hrant Dink, a journalist of Armenian origin and founder of the
Armenian Agos newspaper, was lethally shot close to his office in
central Istanbul on 19 January 2007.

In accordance with the request of lawyer Fethiye ~Getin, one of the
joint attorneys of the Dink family, the court decided to have full
lengths body shots taken from the front and the side of Osman Hayal
plus biometric photographs. Hayal is the brother of suspect Yasin
Hayal and was allegedly in the vicinity of the scene of crime on 19
January 2007.

Osman Hayal was previously arrested and released later on. The court
was of the opinion that there was no need "for now" to arrest Hayal
again under the same allegations. Once the photographs are ready, an
expert is going to determine whether the person on the video records
is Osman Hayal or not. The request to arrest Hayal will be evaluated
accordingly thereupon.

Additionally, the identity of a suspect who talked via a cell phone
from two different points close to the scene of crime at the day of the
murder shall be determined. The court requested the Telecommunication
Communication Presidency (TİB) and three different GSM operators
announce all telephone conversations of this person made between
11.10 and 11.25 am and between 2.45 and 3.00 pm at the scene of crime.

The court dismissed the demand to release alleged instigator Yasin
Hayal and police informant Erhan Tucel pending trial. The trial was
postponed to 29 July.

Upon a previous request of the Dink family lawyers, the Scientific and
Technological Research Council of Turkey (T~\BİTAK) had been asked
about the footage of the camera installed at the Akbank branch since
the murder happened right in front of the bank. T~\BİTAK was asked
whether the records had been deleted and if it would be possible to
restore them. The council initially replied that they had no records.

T~\BİTAK was asked to review the findings but the new digital
forensic analysis came to the same result. According to the report,
the footage was erased and cannot be restored.

Friends of Hrant Also before the 18th hearing of the trial, about 300
"Friends of Hrant" gathered in Be~_ikta~_ (Istanbul) and reiterated
their demand for justice in a walk to the Be~_ikta~_ Courthouse.

The group called for the prosecution of Muammer Güler, the former
Istanbul Chief of Police, and Cemil ~Giçek, former government
spokesman and current Deputy Prime Minister. Banners carried by the
group members read, "We will not forget", "For Hrant, for Justice"
or "The fascists strike, the AKP protects". (E~V/NV/VK)