New developments in Hrant Dink case

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hrant Dink

Several Turkish daily newpapers have reported new developments in the case of Hrant Dink, who was the editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos. Hirant Dink was gunned down in front of his office on February 19 in Istanbul by Ogün Samast, a 17 year old ultra-nationalist Turk.

According to the Turkish daily newspaper Radikal, Bahattin Hayal told to the public prosecutor that following the killing of Hrant Dink and subsequent arrest of Hayal's son Yasin, as the mastermind behind the killing, he was taken to the Trabzon Security Services. Here he was told by a Turkish police chief that " His son (Yasin Hayal) would now live better. We would write our report accordingly. The flag could be taken from the ground by people like Yasin. He would not receive an heavy punishment with our report. God permits he would be given a light sentence."

On the hand other, Yasin Hayal forwarded five petitions to the public prosecutors' Selim Berna Altay and Fikret Seçen, in February and March of this year and informed them that he was encouraged to kill Hrant Dink and given directions by Erhan Tuncel, who was a police informant. Hayal also reported that an officer-in-charge who was working at the Trabzon Security Services visited Hayal and Tuncel prior to the killing and told them that "the Turkish flag had fallen to the ground and people like Erhan and Yasin would raise the flag". In his statement to the Prosecutors, Tuncel reported the same incident and also stated that he had informed the authorities about the assassination plan but the authorities failed to take an action to prevent the killing of Hrant Dink.

The Turkish Public Prosecutors believe that Erhan Tuncel planned the killing of Hrant Dink together with Yasin Hayal and knowingly misled the authorities.

Milliyet, a Turkish daily newspaper reported that Erhan Tuncel in his statement to the Public prosecutors stated that he had informed the authorities 16-17 times prior to the killing. Moreover, Milliyet reported a 48 page report about Erhan Tuncel, prepared by the Security services gone missing.