Dink Judge, Prosecutor Face Probe After Clash Over Verdict

Hrant Dink

ISTANBUL—Turkey’s top judicial council ordered an investigation of the judge and prosecutor in the recently concluded Hrant Dink murder case on Wednesday after they publicly clashed over the verdict.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) said an investigation has been launched into Eryılmaz and Usta after publication in the media of several news articles

concerning their statements about the Dink case. It was not immediately clear whether they face any legal sanctions, Today’s Zaman reports.

Ending the five-year trial, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court sentenced suspect Yasin Hayal to life imprisonment for his role in the 2007 killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Dink, but acquitted 19

defendants charged with being part of a terrorist group, sparking outrage among the family’s lawyers as well as politicians and intellectuals who say the murder was part of a bigger conspiracy that involved state bureaucrats.

In remarks published soon after the ruling, the presiding judge of the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court, Rustem Eryılmaz, said while he personally cannot deny the murder was well-organized, the evidence submitted to the court was not sufficient to issue a ruling that it was an organized crime.

Prosecutor Hikmet Usta swiftly responded to the judge’s statement, saying in a two-page long petition as part of his appeal of the Jan. 17 verdict that there was plenty of evidence to establish the murder was the result of efforts by an organized criminal group.

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