Dink murder suspect says life is under threat

Dink murder suspect says life is under threat

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Dink murder suspect says life is under threat

Friends of slain Armenian-Turkish journalist Dink stage a protest during new trial. DAILY NEWS photo

During the 24th hearing of the Hrant Dink case, suspect Yasin Hayal claimed he was being threatened by prison guards and requested they be interrogated. 

“I have been used by the Turkish Republic, and now they want to eliminate me. My life is in danger and the state will be responsible if anything happens to me,” suspect Hayal said in court. 

Hayal further alleged that many figures ranging from Erhan Tuncel to Ramazan Akyürek had taken advantage of him and exploited his poverty. “Tuncel persuaded me that our lives would be much better,” he said. 
“I never knew Tuncel was a state agent. I respected him because he was the head of Alperen Ocakları [an extreme right-wing group]. I met him in 2002 and he introduced me to a lot of figures, including police officers. I do not recall any names, however. I was involved directly with Tuncel, and you ought to ask him about the names,” Hayal said. 

Hayal also indicated they had a meeting in the Black Sea province of Trabzon with some people who had arrived from Istanbul, and it was here that Ogün Samast was selected as the triggerman. 

Phone records

Meanwhile, the phone records provided to the court by Turkey’s Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) included the numbers of certain individuals who have been in contact with case suspects, said one of the defendant’s lawyers in the case of murdered Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. 

“It is not true that there was no one connected to the suspects being tried in your court in the records sent by the TİB, containing some 6,235 interviews and 9,300 numbers. The existence of a direct connection between case suspects and certain phone numbers in the records has been established,” said Fethiye Çetin, one of the Dink family’s lawyers, during the 24th hearing of the trial yesterday. 

Five persons bearing a connection to the suspects and who were present at the crime scene have been identified through examining the records, Çetin said, adding that the connection between case suspects and another 14 persons who were missing from the crime scene but were called from there had also been determined. 

Tuncel’s lawyer, Erdoğan Soruklu, also agreed with the Dink lawyers and said some of the phone records were deleted.

The prosecutor’s office has accepted the lawyers’ demand to examine the phone records of individuals allegedly connected to the case suspects in detail and subsequently ruled to request the relevant information from the TİB. Still, prosecutor Hikmet Usta denied the lawyers’ claims and said they previously directed all the records to counterterrorism police and all records were analyzed. 

Usta further claimed Dink was not killed due to his Armenian identity; the prosecutor said his murder was part of a political murder tradition related to a terror organization within the state.

Agos, assassination, racism,