‘No organization behind murder’

‘No organization behind murder’

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
‘No organization behind murder’

Thousands of people protested the court’ decision on Jan 19 2012, when the court sentenced instigator Yasin Hayal to aggravated life imprisonment and released police informant and suspect Erhan Tuncel. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

An Istanbul court has issued its detailed ruling in the case of Hrant Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian origin murdered in 2007, 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. If there is a structure that presents continuity, then no information could be obtained as to what kinds of actions they have undertaken since Jan. 19, 2007,” read the court’s ruling made public yesterday.

The 216 page ruling also said no organization leaders or members could be identified, and that no evidence could be found to demonstrate the organization was in possession of the necessary means to commit the crimes in question either.

“There is only the fact that a murder leading to so many political consequences was committed by the suspects without an organization [standing behind them], and that this constitutes a situation that runs counter to the natural flow of life,” said the ruling.

While this situation establishes doubt, criminal law holds that doubt should be interpreted in the suspect’s favor, the verdict went on.

“It was thus necessary to acquit the suspects due to lack of evidence, as the suspects’ crimes of establishing, leading, abetting and being members of an [illegal] organization could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt with clear and precise facts and evidence that leaves no room for hesitation,” said the ruling.

It seems illogical that the murder was planned and premeditated by juveniles without an organization behind them, but those who planned the murder left no evidence that would establish either a de jure or a de facto connection between the triggermen and themselves, the ruling continued.

“The conclusion could be logically drawn that the evidence could have been more accessible if there was no terrorist organization [behind the triggermen] of a magnitude bigger than previously thought.”
Dink was the chief editor for weekly Agos, a newspaper published in Turkish and Armenian. He was shot dead in front of his office on Jan. 19, 2007 in Istanbul. Triggerman Ogün Samast was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder last year.

Instigator Yasin Hayal was sentenced on Jan. 19 to aggravated life imprisonment, while former police informant and suspect Erhan Tuncel was released, leading to a public outcry.