Murdered journalist Dink’s lawyers demand files from ‘cosmic room’
Turkish people gather in front of the offices of Armenian newspaper Agos during a commemoration ceremony for slain journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul on Jan 19, 2013. AFP photo
Slain Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink’s family lawyers have asked the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office to demand information from an investigation into the military’s top-secret archives in Ankara, dubbed the “cosmic room,” about the murder after a “surprising” witness emerged.
Cem Halavurt, one of the lawyers of the Dink family, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday that they had learned from media reports that files examined by the Mobilization Investigation Board, called the “cosmic room,” related to an assassination attempt on Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç matched up with a report sent by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) to Parliament on the issue.
“In the latest trial, we demanded the court ask the Mobilization Investigation Board to provide documents about the murder of Hrant Dink,” said Halavurt.
The lawyers’ demand came as an inmate claiming to have information on Dink’s killers sent a letter to prosecutors.
The informant, who is said to be currently serving a prison sentence in the northern province of Tokat, offered documentation relating to Dink’s murder in his letter and agreed to cooperate in the investigation provided the protection of his family was guaranteed by authorities, Doğan news agency reported Feb. 13. In the letter, the informant revealed the murder had been planned by a group he had been a member of along with Erhan Tuncel, a former police informant and suspect, later released following the trial. Daily Radikal provided the details of the letter yesterday in which the informants also claimed that he had information on other crimes, such as the murder of Father Andrea Santoro in Trabzon in 2006.
One year later, Dink, editor-in-chief of the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos, was murdered in Istanbul on Jan. 19.
The informant claimed Tuncel told him that “we have buried Father Santoro,” during one of their conversations. The informant also said he and Tuncel had been planning to assassinate the priest at Hagia Yorgi located on Büyükada, the biggest island of the Princes’ Islands.
Halavurt said the prosecutors were evaluating the informant’s demand and that they were hoping that the informant’s claims may shed light on the murder of Dink.
He also criticized the leak of the letter to the media, saying it might affect the case and may dissuade the informant from making more confessions.