Dink Case Judge Detained over Gülen Probe

Bünyamin Karakaş, one of the judges trying suspects of Hrant Dink's murder, was arrested on Dec. 2, 2016 (Source: Hurriyet Daily News)
Bünyamin Karakaş, one of the judges trying suspects of Hrant Dink's murder, was arrested on Dec. 2, 2016 (Source: Hurriyet Daily News)

Bünyamin Karakaş, one of the judges trying suspects of Hrant Dink’s murder, was arrested on Dec. 2, 2016 (Source: Hurriyet Daily News)

ISTABUL (Hurriyet Daily News)—One of the judges who is trying 35 suspects for the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink in 2007 was detained on December 2 on accusations that he is tied to the Gülenist organization.

Bünyamin Karakaş, who did not attend the Friday hearing, was apprehended by police teams while he was in his room at the Istanbul courthouse. The detention came during a recess in the hearing in which suspect Ramazan Akyürek was in the dock.

The court, gathering after the short break, decided to adjourn its meeting for two hours due to Karakaş’s detention.

Karakaş was among 192 judges and prosecutors who were sought for detention as part of a probe into Gülenists opened by Ankara prosecutors on December 1.

Some 55 of the legal personnel were serving in Istanbul.

A total of 191 judges and prosecutors out of the 192 were suspended as part of the investigation, said a judicial source.

No administrative actions were taken against one suspect because he had retired although he remains on a wanted list.

The suspects were said to be serving at first-degree courts.

To date, more than 3,600 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed since the July 15 coup attempt that left 248 dead and nearly 2,200 wounded.

The Gülenist organization, led by U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, is accused of orchestrating Turkey’s July 15 coup plot.

In the Dink case, hearings against former Police Intelligence Department personnel began on November 28.

Dink was shot dead at the age of 52 in broad daylight outside the offices of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos in central Istanbul on January 19, 2007.

Ogün Samast, then a 17-year-old jobless high-school dropout, confessed to the murder and was sentenced to almost 23 years in jail in 2011.

But the case grew into a wider scandal after it emerged that the security forces had been aware of a plot to kill Dink but failed to act.

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