Dinks Murder Trial Set for July 2

ISTANBUL (Combined Sources)–Turkish prosecutors sought heavy prison terms for 18 people over the murder of an ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, which they said was the work of a terrorist organization, the Anatolia news agency reported Monday. The trial is expected to start July 2, the semi-official agency said. Hrant Dink’s murder on January 19 raised alarm about rising nationalism and hostility against minorities in Turkey. The journalist’s funeral turned into a huge demonstration as some 100,000 people marched behind his coffin, calling for tolerance and reconciliation with Armenia. The indictment calls for life sentences for two alleged ringleaders who instigated the killing in which Dink, 52, was gunned down outside the offices of his Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos in Istanbul. One of them, university student Erhan Tuncel, also faces an additional prison term between 22.5 and 48 years on other charges including being a leader of a terrorist organization. The indictment calls for an additional sentence of 18 to 30 years in jail for the second man, Yasin Hayal, on other charges including being a leader of a terrorist organization. Hayal is believed to have provided the money and gun used in the murder. The two prosecutors demanded a prison term between 18 and 24 years for Ogun Samast, a 17-year-old jobless secondary school graduate who confessed to shooting Dink. Samast also faces an additional prison term of between 8.5 to 18 years for being a member of a terrorist organization and carrying an unlicensed gun. The indictment calls for prison terms between 7.5 and 35 years for the remaining 15 suspects for helping in the murder. The prosecutors considered the group as a terrorist organization, which aggravates the sentences sought for the crime.-0-/39/

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