VIDEO: Security footage contradicts suspects’ testimony in attack on Hürriyet journalist
ISTANBULSecurity camera footage contradicts the initial testimonies of four suspects detained by police for attacking veteran Hürriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan, who has been receiving politically-motivated threats for weeks.
Four men who had got out of a black Honda attacked Hakan at 12.35 p.m. on Oct. 1 in Istanbul’s Nişantaşı neighborhood, where he lives. Three of the assailants targeted Hakan while the fourth attacked his bodyguard.
The journalist was taken to hospital after the attack with a suspected broken nose and ribs.
Three of the suspects were detained soon after the assault and the fourth victim was detained early on Oct. 1.
The assailants reportedly claimed in their initial testimonies that the attack was the result of a quarrel with Hakan in traffic.
However, the testimonies are in stark contrast with footage from Doğan Media Center security cameras that shows the perpetrators starting to follow Hakan’s car as he left the CNN Türk studios after presenting his evening program.
When asked, the suspects claimed they were around the studio only to see a friend, while the kilometers-long pursuit was nothing more than a “coincidence.”
The police investigation has revealed that the perpetrators’ car lightly hit Hakan’s car as the columnist was arriving at his home in Nişantaşı. The assailants then attacked Hakan and his bodyguard after they got out of the car to see whether there was any damage. All four suspects left the scene after the attack, which went on for 15-20 seconds.
Police sources say eye witnesses identified the suspects as the assailants from the attack.
Due to the contradictory testimonies, police have asked the office of the attorney general for authorization for a detention extension of 24 hours for the suspects.
Meanwhile, the Istanbul Governor’s Office announced in a written statement that two of the suspects have criminal records for crimes including “drug trafficking,” “armed robbery,” and “blackmailing.”
All five suspects were referred to court once the process at the police station was complete.
Reports indicate that the organized crime control bureau has taken over the case.