‘I did my part,’ says Hrant Dink suspect, denying allegations of misconduct
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyOsman Gülbel, a former deputy head of the Police Intelligence Department charged in the case on the killing of Armenian-origin Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, has told an Istanbul court that he “did what he was supposed to do” by sending a document containing information that Dink was to be targeted to the necessary offices.
Police intelligence department officials’ testimonies were taken on Nov. 29, the second day of the eighth hearing into the January 2007 killing.
The case has a total of 35 suspects, and Gülbel is charged with “involvement in a planned murder,” “misconduct” and “membership of an outlawed group.”
He told the court that he forwarded a critical intelligence report containing information that Dink would be the target of an assassination attempt.
“Putting my initials on it, I delivered it to my supervisor. I did not see any other documents until I left Bureau C [of the Police Intelligence Department]. I left the bureau in September 2007. I do not know what kind of other actions were taken,” said Gülbel, refusing to accept the allegations and demanding his acquittal.
He also added that the Istanbul office of the police intelligence department had known about Yasin Hayal, the instigator of the Dink murder.
“They were able to see information listed within the Intelligence Inspection Program [İDP]. There is no information in the police intelligence department that is not in the İDP. If there was something bothering them, they should have probed it,” said Gülbel.
Dink was shot dead at the age of 52 with two bullets to the head in broad daylight outside the offices of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos 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 the security forces had been aware of a plot to kill Dink but failed to act.