Gülenists have footage of Dink’s murder: Indictment
“A camera was recording when Hrant Dink was being killed. The footage is in the hands of Gülenists,” said an indictment into 51 suspects, including U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, adding that the footage was recorded by Istanbul Gendarmerie Intelligence officials Yavuz Karakaya and Bekir Yokuş.
The indictment prepared by prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü named the Gendarmerie Intelligence officials at the scene of the assassination as suspects, Al Jazeera’s Turkish service reported on April 25.
Dink was shot dead in broad daylight outside the offices of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos, which he founded, in central Istanbul on Jan. 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 security forces had been aware of a plot to kill Dink but failed to act.
According to the indictment, the footage of the killing emerged after Samast was apprehended.
A 44-second video of Samast holding a Turkish flag with police and gendarmerie officers in the police headquarters of the Black Sea province of Samsun emerged not long after he was apprehended in the wake of the murder. The prosecutor’s office subsequently obtained the whole video, which reportedly showed Samsun Provincial Gendarmerie Command Department head Murat Bayrak making Samast watch a video from a cellphone.
Accordingly, Samast was asked to provide testimony regarding what he had watched on the cellphone, with the triggerman replying that it showed him waiting in front of a telephone booth from where he spoke to Yasin Hayal, the instigator of the murder, right before the killing took place.
Samast also said the footage did not belong to a security camera nearby, adding that it was a tracking video recorded by people who were following him while waiting close to a black Renault car, which also had people following Samast.
After his testimony, Kökçü deepened his investigation and determined that the footage was recorded by Karakaya and Yokuş.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the footage was recorded in order to be used for the aims of Gülenists.
The footage is still missing, sources at the prosecutor’s office said. Efforts to find the footage that is believed to be in the Gülenists’ archive have been continuing.
The 122-page indictment against a total of 51 suspects, which accuses the Gülen movement of involvement in the journalist’s murder a decade ago, was completed on April 24 separately from the case into the murder.
The suspects, 28 of whom are under arrest, includes Gülen, who is also accused of masterminding the July 2016 failed coup attempt; former prosecutor Zekeriya Öz; the former editor-in-chief of the closed daily Zaman, Ekrem Dumanlı; journalists Adem Yavuz Arslan, Ercan Gün and Faruk Mercan; dismissed Brig. Hamza Celepoğlu; Trabzon gendarmerie province Cmdr. Ali Öz; Trabzon gendarmerie intelligence head Metin Yıldız and Istanbul gendarmerie intelligence personnel Cpt. Muharrem Demirkale.