Dink lawyers warn over hasty verdict

Dink lawyers warn over hasty verdict

ISTANBUL - Radikal
Dink lawyers warn over hasty verdict

‘Friends of Dink’ will be in front of the courthouse in protest again today. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Lawyers for the family of Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist murdered in 2007, have urged the chief justice not to reach any hasty verdict in today’s hearing, suggesting that the investigation is not yet complete.

“The trial would be left incomplete if a verdict is reached under these circumstances. The trial ought to be more broadly investigated, and political authorities ought to provide the court with the necessary means to resolve this case,” Arzu Becerik, one of the Dink family’s lawyers, said ahead of today’s hearing.

During the trial’s 24th hearing Jan. 10, chief judge Rüstem Eryılmaz told case lawyers to be present at today’s court hearing as he said a verdict could be pronounced by then. Dink family lawyer Fethiye Çetin also said phone records that were recently sent to the court by Turkey’s Telecommunications Authority (TİB) two years after the family’s legal council first issued the request had yet to be fully examined.

“The significance of these records is further augmented by the fact that numerous calls were placed between the suspects and [certain] people prior to the day of the incident. [These records] have to be meticulously examined,” Çetin earlier said.

The phone records from the vicinity of the crime scene and dated to the day of Dink’s murder contain 6,235 calls and 9,300 phone numbers, Çetin said.

The records also include the phone numbers of certain persons who were present at the time and place of the incident and contacted case suspects Mustafa Öztürk and Salih Hacısalihoğlu by phone, Çetin said at a Dec. 26, 2011, hearing. While the prosecution said the records in question had nothing to do with Dink’s murder, Becerik said the records sent to court by the TİB ought to be reviewed before a verdict is reached.

Dink was the chief editor for weekly Agos, a paper published in Turkish and Armenian. He was shot in front of his office on Jan. 19, 2007. Triggerman Ogün Samast was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder last year.