Suspect in armed attack on Dündar faces up to 12 years in jail

Suspect in armed attack on Dündar faces up to 12 years in jail

Suspect in armed attack on Dündar faces up to 12 years in jail

AFP photo

The prime suspect over the May 6 armed attack against daily Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dündar, which took place in front of Istanbul’s Çağlayan Court House, faces up to 12 years and 10 months in jail.

Two other suspects, accused of aiding and abetting the hitman, face up to 6 years and 6 months in prison for attempted deliberate injury and armed threats, as the public prosecutor’s office completed an indictment against him

The man who pulled the trigger, Murat Şahin, approached Dündar as he was speaking to reporters during a break in a May 6 hearing, in which Dündar was being tried on charges of revealing state secrets. Şahin fired two shots at Dündar’s legs, saying, “You are a traitor.”

He was later detained while Dündar was uninjured. Yağız Şenkal, a reporter for private broadcaster NTV, was wounded in the leg, and was also included in the 18-page indictment as a complainant.

Şahin claimed that he carried out the act “independently” and “wanted to teach Dündar a lesson” as he “did not like him,” security sources said, after detaining the 40-year-old following the failed attempt.

“If I wanted to kill him, I would have done so. But I shot at his leg to scare him,” Şahin reportedly said.

A police investigation revealed that two other suspects, identified only as Sabri B. and Habip C., were also involved in the attack. Sabri B. reportedly provided Şahin with the gun he used in the attack.

Şahin faces from four years to 12 years and 10 months in prison for deliberate injury, armed threat, insult, and for the possession of an unregistered firearm.

The suspected abettors face from 2 years and 6 months to 6 years and 6 months in jail.

The indictment has been sent to a criminal court of first instance following the attorney general’s approval.

Following the attack, Dündar, the editor-in-chief of daily Cumhuriyet, and Erdem Gül, the paper’s Ankara bureau chief, were convicted by an Istanbul court and sentenced to five years and 10 months and five years in prison respectively.        

The journalists were on trial for “leaking state secrets” due to stories published about Turkish intelligence trucks bound for Syria with hidden weapons in early 2014. They were arrested on Nov. 26, 2015 but released from pre-trial detention on Feb. 26 following a Constitutional Court ruling.

The 14th High Criminal Court acquitted Dündar and Gül of charges of attempting to overthrow the government, while ordering that the charges of “knowingly and willfully” assisting a terrorist organization be separated from the trial.