ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily News)—Ogun Samast, the hit man who killed Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink over eight years ago, has appealed to present his testimony as part of the “criminal organization” leg of the case into the murder. Samast has also asked to be transferred to a prison in Istanbul near to where the case is being held.
Since he was sentenced by a juvenile court to 22 years in jail in July of 2011, Samast has not attended any hearings at the Istanbul 5th Heavy Penal Court, where another case has focused on the alleged “criminal organization” behind the killing.
In a letter dated November 13, 2015, Samast told the court that he is now willing to give his testimony in regards to the “criminal organization” leg of the case. He also asked to be transferred to a prison in Istanbul, from the high-security prison in Kandira, Kocaeli province, where he is currently being held.
Dink, who was the editor-in-chief of Agos newspaper, was shot outside the Agos office in Istanbul’s Sisli district on January 19, 2007 by a then 17-year-old Samast.
In October 2014, the trial took a significant turn after the court in Istanbul overseeing the case announced that it would focus on allegations that the crime was hatched as part of a wider “criminal organization.” Lawyers representing the Dink family had demanded such a move since the start of the re-trial.
In November 2014, the Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that civil servants and institutions allegedly implicated in the murder should be investigated.