ISTANBUL (Associated Press)—A Turkish court sentenced a man to life in prison Tuesday for his role in the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007.
A panel of judges found Yasin Hayal guilty of instigating Dink’s killing outside of his office five years ago, and gave him the life term.
The court, however, acquitted Hayal and several others of charges of acting under a terrorist organization’s orders, angering Dink’s lawyers who say the trial failed to shed light on connections between the suspects and some state officials and who say the journalist’s murder was a planned act.
Gunman Ogun Samast was sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison in July for “premeditated murder.”
The verdict deeply disappointed Dink’s lawyers and family. Fethiye Cetin, a lawyer for the Dink family, said the trial failed to shed light on “the darkness” — connections between the suspects and some state officials.
After the decision, hundreds of activists began marching toward the scene where Dink was gunned down outside his Agos newspaper and promised to gather again at the spot of his murder on Thursday, the fifth anniversary of the Jan. 19 killing.
Turkish authorities have prosecuted dozens of people in connection with Dink’s assassination, including security personnel accused of ignoring intelligence of ultranationalist plots to kill the journalist.
In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Turkish authorities failed to protect Dink and ordered the government to pay compensation to his family.
The European Union has closely followed the Dink case as it underlines concerns about EU candidate Turkey’s human rights record.