Dink suspects’ lawyers to appeal court’s ruling
Yasin Hayal (M) was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment on Jan 17 Dink’s murderer Ogün Samast was sentenced to more than 22 years in jail last year.Following the court’s decision to release suspect Erhan Tuncel in the Hrant Dink murder case, lawyers for the two other suspects Yasin Hayal and Ogün Samast may appeal to court for their clients’ release, according to reports.
During Tuesday’s hearing an Istanbul court sentenced suspect Hayal to aggravated life imprisonment and suspect Tuncel to more than 10 years in prison. Tuncel, who has been under arrest since 2007, was released yesterday because of the time he had already served.
Tuncel was acquitted of acting on orders from a terrorist organization; however, he was sentenced to 10.5 years behind bars for his part in the bombing of a McDonald’s restaurant in the Black Sea port city of Trabzon. The court later decided to release Tuncel based on the time he served in prison, which was approximately five years.
Following Tuncel’s release, lawyers for the other key suspects Hayal and Samast are now expected to appeal to court, which has created a debate among lawyers.
According to amendments made to the penal code last year, the maximum arrest period for suspects on non-terror charges is five years. Some lawyers argue the arrest period is over once the verdict is ruled by the local court, while others believe the suspects remain under arrest, not convicted, until the appeal process is over.
Following his release, Tuncel was reported to have returned to his hometown of Elazığ yesterday.
Meanwhile, another significant detail came to light yesterday, when it was revealed that the court had not delivered a verdict for one of the suspects, Coşkun İğci. The court is expected to reconvene later to deliver a verdict on Iğci.