ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily News)—Turkey’s top police intelligence chief and two former police intelligence unit heads may face up to 25 years in prison each in the investigation launched into the murder of prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.
Turkish National Police (EGM) Intelligence Department head Engin Dinc and former police chiefs Resat Altay and Ahmet Ilhan Guler have been accused of “helping commit deliberate murder,” Agos weekly reported on October 25, as a new indictment was presented to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Dinc and Guler were intelligence unit heads of the police departments in Trabzon and Istanbul, respectively, at the time of Dink’s murder, while Altay was the Trabzon Police Department head. Dinc, Guler and Altay may receive up to 25 years in jail if the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office accepts the investigation for trial.
The indictment was presented by prosecutor Gokalp Kokcu in an investigation launched against a total of 25 suspects, including Dinc, Guler and Altay, over charges of negligence on public duty after Dink was killed outside his office building on January 19, 2007.
Meanwhile, former EGM Intelligence Department head Ramazan Akyurek and former Istanbul Police Department Intelligence Unit head Ali Fuat Yilmazer may face life in prison on the charge of “committing deliberate murder,” if the indictment is accepted, as both Akyurek and Yilmazer were on duty at the time of Dink’s murder.
In addition, former Istanbul Police Department head Celalettin Cerrah and former Intelligence Unit head Sabri Uzun will appear in court on the charge of power abuse while on duty, the indictment stated.
Dinc, the current EGM Intelligence Department head and former intelligence unit head of the Trabzon Police Department, allegedly had known about an assassination plot by Yasin Hayal and his illegal organization against Dink since February 15, 2006. However, he failed to notify the Trabzon Governor’s Office, the Trabzon Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), claimed Hakan Bakircioglu, the Dink family attorney.
Erhan Tuncel, the perpetrator of a bomb attack in Trabzon, reportedly became a police informant at the time Dinc was the Trabzon Police Department Intelligence Unit head, from August 26, 2004 to September 19, 2007.
Hayal and Tuncel were accused of encouraging Dink’s murderer to commit the act.
Dink, who was editor-in-chief of Agos, was shot dead outside its office building in Istanbul’s Sisli district on January 19, 2007 by 17-year-old Ogun Samast.
Relatives and followers of the case have claimed government officials, police, military personnel and members of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) played a role in Dink’s murder by neglecting their duty to protect the journalist.