ISTANBUL (Hurriyet)–The latest police testimony from “Secret Witness-1,” who failed to show up at the latest hearing of the Hrant Dink assassination case Monday, has been published by the Turkish daily Milliyet.
Dink, the former editor in chief of the daily Agos, was murdered in front of his newspaper on Jan 15, 2007. The witness stated that Ogun Samast, the prime suspect on trial as the triggerman, was not alone, and that Yasin Hayal, who is also on trial as the assassination’s instigator, was beside him. The secret witness said Samast and Hayal both fired shots.
“As I was approaching the Akbank [branch] near the corner of the street, I saw Hrant Dink coming out of the Agos building. At that time, I thought a man in his 50s coming out of Akbank was having a quick word with Hrant Dink,” the witness said.
“Two armed people came and fired shots at Hrant Dink together, while the person who came out of the bank was beside him. One fired from the front and the other from behind. Yasin Hayal fired a shot at Hrant Dink from behind and Ogun Samast, who I saw later, fired from the front by approaching [Dink],” said the witness. According to the testimony, Samast and Hayal then ran in different directions.
Meanwhile, speculations ongoing about the secret witness’s absence in court revealed details on his or her identity. Erkan Canak, the court’s head judge, said Monday that the police forgot to bring the secret witness to testify. Following this story making news, the Istanbul Security Directorate also made a statement Monday night and said they did not receive any directions to escort the secret witness.
Judge Canak spoke to the press about 15 hours after the police, denying his earlier accusation and said: “I did not call the witness because there was not a translator present. The police told me the witness who was needed to be heard could not speak Turkish exactly.” Therefore, the judge has revealed the witness is probably an Armenian whose testimony was taken by a translator.