Murderer of Armenian-Turkish journalist Dink testifies over controversial footage with police officers

Murderer of Armenian-Turkish journalist Dink testifies over controversial footage with police officers

Ogün Samast, the assailant in the 2007 murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, gave testimony on Sept. 30 over newly-surfaced video footage showing him chatting with police officers at a police station after he was caught, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü summoned Samast from Silivri Prison in Istanbul on Sept. 30 to testify on the footage released by private broadcaster Kanal 24 in early September, showing him chatting with a group of police officers at the police station in the Black Sea province of Samsun, where he had been brought for interrogation.

Kökçü reportedly asked Samast about the footage, which was not included in the file, as well as former gendarmerie intelligence officials who were complicit near the scene on the day of the murder.

Meanwhile, the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office also prepared an investigation report on related footage.

In the footage released by Kanal 24, police officers are seen sitting next to Samast and asking him about the details of the act, while others are taking photos of him, instructing him to “smile.”   

The same officer who questioned Samast can be seen in the footage later praising him for his act before assuring him that the images “would never be released” and that he could talk freely.

In another image, Samast can be seen posing with a Turkish flag.    

In his statement, Samast, while watching surveillance camera footage of his act, is heard talking about how he conducted the murder. 

In separate footage released by private broadcaster A Haber, six former gendarmerie intelligence officers, who were tried over links to the Gülen movement, were seen near the scene at the time of murder.

Dink, 52, was shot dead with two bullets to the head in broad daylight outside the offices of Agos in central Istanbul.   

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.