Turkish Intelligence Heads to be Investigated for Dink Murder

ISTANBUL (Hurriyet)–Two top intelligence officers in Turkey may soon be investigated for negligence of duty, under allegations that they had not acted to prevent the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in January 2007.

Ramazan Akyurek, the country’s top police intelligence chief, and Ali Fuat Yilmazer, Istanbul’s police intelligence chief, may be investigated failing to prevent Dink’s murder, despite having intelligence of the plot preceding it.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in December approved a Prime Ministry Inspection Report on the murder, which opened the way for an investigation against two high-ranking officers.

At the time of the murder, Akyurek was police chief of the Black Sea province of Trabzon, where suspects of Dink’s murder came from, and Yilmazer was the branch director of the intelligence department in charge of right-wing terror and minorities in Ankara.

The report, prepared in response to deman’s for an official inquiry by the Dink family, is currently with the Interior Ministry for approval, after which it is expected that inspectors will be assigned to investigate the officials. The report requires says that a preliminary investigation would be appropriate against Akyurek and Yilmazer, together with other officials still to be determined.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor of another case against Dink’s murder suspect, Yasin Hayal, over the bombing of a McDonalds’ restaurant in Trabzon in 2004, requested a reduction in Hayal’s sentence because he had repented.

Hayal was sentenced to six years in prison for the bombing, however, the Supreme Court of Appeals overruled the decision. Prosecutor Yakup Unal Demir did not demand a widening of the investigation.

Hayal is one of the main suspects in Dink’s murder and he is alleged to have planned and incited the killing. Erhan Tuncel, another main suspect of the murder case is alleged to have organized the McDonalds’ bombing together with Hayal, but was charged by police as an informer after the bombing.

Dink, the editor in chief of the multilingual weekly Agos, was shot to death in the central Sisli district of Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2006.

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