Justice minister hints at retrial in Dink case

Justice minister hints at retrial in Dink case

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Justice minister hints at retrial in Dink case

Thousands of people protested the court’s decision on Jan 19, 2012, when the court released Erhan Tuncel and sentenced Yasin Hayal to aggravated life sentence. DHA photo

A new lawsuit could be filed in the case of murdered Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink if new details emerge, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said Feb. 24 just days after Turkey’s State Supervisory Council (DDK) issued a critical report on the matter.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, meanwhile, sharply criticized a detailed court ruling that was announced on Feb. 23 in relation to the Dink case that said there was not enough evidence to prove whether Dink’s murder was organized.

 “I do not know whether it makes sense for the court to accept the existence of a major organization [behind the crime] and then proceed to say it cannot catch sight of it. The detailed ruling was like a dark veil [falling] over the darkness. The ruling could not light another candle to bring this darkness to an end,” Bozdağ said Feb. 24. Dink was murdered Jan. 19, 2007.

Meanwhile, recent media reports have come to light indicating that the censured sections of a report prepared by Turkey’s State Supervisory Council (DDK) on Dink’s assassination include accusations of negligence and dereliction of duty by security officials.

Members of the Police Department in the Black Sea province of Trabzon failed to relay intelligence provided by former suspect and informant Erhan Tuncel to the Trabzon Gendarmerie Command who had proper jurisdiction over the matter, according to the censured parts of the DDK’s report. The Trabzon Police Department shared the intelligence regarding plans to assassinate Dink with the Istanbul Police Department after it processed the information Feb. 15, 2006, said the report.

The Trabzon Gendarmerie Command also gained access to similar intelligence as the police department in greater detail from other sources but neither processed it nor shared it with any other judicial or administrative unit, said the report, according to daily Habertürk.

The report also accused members of the Istanbul Police Department of not conducting a search of suspect Osman Hayal’s workplace after they received the intelligence from Trabzon. The Istanbul police instead issued a fake inquiry report about Osman Hayal’s workplace as if they had conducted a search, the report said.

The prosecutor’s office also decided to dismiss the case against certain personnel from Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) due to the statute of limitations, the report said. The MİT members in question were involved in an incident where Dink was given a threatening warning at the Istanbul Governor’s Office in the lead-up to them murder.

The DDK censured six pages out of its 649-page report on the grounds the information in them amounted to a state secret.

President Abdullah Gül had ordered the DDK to look into the case of Dink’s murder after lawyers for the journalist’s family said the trial had not been properly conducted and the public outcry that followed in the wake of an Istanbul court’s final decision over the case.

The Istanbul Regional Administrative Court decided to prevent the public officials in question from having to stand trial despite reasonable and sufficient evidence of their negligence, the report added.
Ergin, meanwhile, also defended the country’s specially authorized courts, saying evaluating complaints about them and abolishing them entirely – as some have demanded – were completely unrelated.

An Istanbul court has issued its detailed ruling in the case of Hrant Dink on Feb 22, arguing there was no evidence indicating the existence of an organization behind the crime, despite lingering doubts.
“If a [terrorist] organization does exist [behind the crime], then it has not been ascertained when and for which purpose it was established. It has not been ascertained on which principles and crimes the organization’s founders established their mutual wills,” read the court’s ruling made public.