Today's Zaman, Turkey
Nov 29 2013

Erhan Tuncel

Erhan Tuncel, who was previously acquitted of all charges related
to the 2007 killing of Hrant Dink, the late editor-in-chief of the
Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, was brought to an İstanbul courthouse
on Friday to testify.

The İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court, which has started a retrial
in the Dink case, issued an arrest warrant for Tuncel in September,
and he was detained by police on Oct. 24.

The İstanbul court launched the new trial after the Supreme Court
of Appeals in May overturned the court's ruling of Jan. 17, 2012, in
which it dismissed the involvement of an organized criminal network
in the murder.

Tuncel, who worked as an informant for the Trabzon Police Department,
was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the 2004 bombing
of a McDonald's restaurant in the Black Sea city of Trabzon but
was acquitted of all charges regarding the Dink murder, including
prosecutors' claims in the first trial that he was the one who ordered
Yasin Hayal, the man who was given a life sentence for soliciting
Dink's shooter, to murder him.

Dink's lawyers earlier said the Supreme Court of Appeals' 9th Criminal
Chamber had indicated in its May decision that Tuncel may have played
a crucial role in the murder of Dink.

Hayal and Tuncel, along with all other defendants, were acquitted
of charges of membership in a terrorist organization in the local
court's ruling.

Dink was shot and killed in broad daylight on Jan. 19, 2007, by an
ultranationalist teenager outside the offices of his newspaper in
İstanbul. Evidence discovered since then has led to claims that the
murder was linked to the "deep state," a term used in reference to
a shady group of military and civilian bureaucrats believed to have
links to criminal elements.

In an interview with the Star daily last month, Tuncel accused the
gendarmerie of having a "big role" in the murder of the Armenian

Prosecutor Muammer Akka~_, who is supervising the investigation, asked
that Tuncel be brought to the İstanbul Courthouse in Caglayan. The
next hearing of the case will be on Dec. 3. The prosecutors first heard
testimony from Ogun Samast, who pulled the trigger and killed Dink.

From: A. Papazian