EYEWITNESS SAYS OSMAN HAYAL WAS ACCOMPLICE TO DINK'S MURDERER

Today's Zaman
Sept 2 2008
Turkey

An anonymous eyewitness in the murder case of Turkish-Armenian
journalist Hrant Dink, shot dead by a teenager over a year ago,
confirmed that Osman Hayal was with Ogun Samast at the time of
the murder.

The eyewitness stated that Osman Hayal -- the elder brother of Yasin
Hayal, who instigated the murder -- was with Samast, who was 17 at
the time of the murder, when he murdered Dink on Jan. 19, 2007, in
broad daylight outside the office of Agos, a newspaper where Dink
was the editor-in-chief. Osman Hayal denies the eyewitness's claims.

The anonymous eyewitness said: "Osman Hayal and another person with
curly hair were there. They were standing in front of an Akbank
on the street. After the event happened, Osman Hayal turned to the
other two people and nodded. After that he escaped in the direction
of Mecidiyeköy."

Osman Hayal rejects the claims, but police sources note that there
were serious discrepancies in Hayal's depositions. Hayal claims that
he got on a bus at around 3 p.m. and for this reason emphasized he
was on the bus at 4 p.m. when the event took place. "I do not know
exactly where I was when the event took place, but I was probably
going to Trabzon by bus." A bus takes about 18 hours to travel from
Ä°stanbul to Trabzon but Hayal also claims that he learned about the
incident while watching TV with his mother. However, according to
Hayal's claim about his being on the bus, he could not have been in
Trabzon before noon of the next day. He missed this important detail.

Osman Hayal had claimed previously that he was not in Ä°stanbul on
the day of murder but later it was proved that his mobile phone
signaled from Ä°stanbul's Umraniye district on Jan. 19, 2007, at
11:27 a.m. Responding to why he lied, Hayal said: "I said I was in
Trabzon because I was very sad and bothered as my brother was involved
in this event. I said this because I was deeply hurt. I did not say
that I was in Ä°stanbul thinking that it would change anything as I
was not involved in this event."

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