New footage of Dink murder assailant released
ISTANBULNew footage showing the assailant in the 2007 murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink as he was chatting with police officers in a tea room of the police station where he was brought after being caught surfaced on Sept. 8, a day after nine-year-old other video images related to the crime were revealed.
In newly-published footage released by Channel 24, Dink murder convict Ogün Samast is seen with a group of police officers in the police station in the northern province of Samsun, where he was brought to be interrogated. During their conversation police officers are seen sitting next to Samast and asking him about the details of the act, while some others are taking photos of him, instructing him to “smile.”
The same officer who questioned Samast can be seen in the images later praising him for his act before assuring him that the images “would never be released” and that he could talk freely.
In another image, Samast can be seen posing with a Turkish flag.
In his statements, Samast, while watching surveillance camera footage of his act, is heard talking about how he conducted the murder.
“I followed him for two or three days. I took out my gun and shot him. I went and waited in front of his door; I came and shot [him],” said Samast.
On Sept. 7, footage was published by a Turkish broadcaster appearing to show that six former gendarmerie intelligence officers, who are currently being tried over links to the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), were complicit in the 2007 assassination of Dink. In the images published by A Haber, they can be seen near the scene at the time of Dink’s murder.
Dink, 52, was shot dead with two bullets to the head in broad daylight outside the offices of Agos in central Istanbul.
Samast, then a 17-year-old jobless high-school dropout, confessed to the murder and was sentenced to almost 23 years in jail in 2011.
But the case grew into a wider scandal after it emerged that security forces had been aware of a plot to kill Dink but failed to act.
Relatives and followers of the case have long claimed government officials, police, military personnel and members of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT) played a role in Dink’s murder by neglecting their duty to protect the journalist.
Turkey’s top court in July 2014 ruled that the investigation into the killing had been flawed, paving the way for the trial of the police officials.
In January 2016, Supreme Court of Appeals ruled to tie the main case into Dink’s murder and prosecution into the public officers’ negligence to prevent the killing of Dink. Indictments for 26 people are now included in the merged case.