Killer of Hrant Dink appeals to testify in ‘criminal organization’ leg of case
Ayşegül Usta - ISTANBULThe triggerman who shot dead Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink almost nine years ago has appealed to present his testimony as part of the “criminal organization” leg of the case into the murder. The assassin Ogün Samast has also asked to be transferred to a prison in Istanbul near to where the case is being held.
Since he was sentenced by a juvenile court to 22 years in jail on July 2011, Samast has not attended any hearings at the Istanbul 5th Heavy Penal Court, where another case has been heard focusing on the “criminal organization” aspect of the killing.
In a letter dated Nov. 13, 2015, Samast told the court that he is now willing to give his testimony in the “criminal organization” leg of the case. He also asked to be transferred to a prison in Istanbul, from the high-security F-type prison in Kandıra, Kocaeli province, where he is currently been jailed.
Dink, who was the editor-in-chief of Agos, was shot dead outside its office building in Istanbul’s Şişli district on Jan. 19, 2007 by 17-year-old Samast.
In October 2014, the trial took a significant turn after the court in Istanbul overseeing the case announced that it would focus on allegations that the crime was hatched as part of a wider “criminal organization.” Lawyers representing the Dink family had demanded such a move since the start of the retrial.
In November 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that civil servants and institutions allegedly implicated in the murder should be investigated.