The prosecutor’s office of the Supreme Court of Appeals of Turkey has asked the top court to overturn the rulings in the Hrant Dink murder case, arguing that the assassination was organized.
“It is obvious that the murder was not an ordinary killing, the actions filed in the report had the goals of causing chaos in society, weakening authority, disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state and putting our country in a disturbing position,” the office’s appeal, made public today, read, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Dink, an Armenian-Turkish journalist, was assassinated in Istanbul in January 2007 by Ogün Samast, a 17-year old Turkish nationalist, in front of the offices of Agos, the weekly for which he was the editor-in-chief.
After two years of proceedings Samast was convicted on July 25, 2011, of premeditated murder and illegal possession of a firearm by Istanbul’s Juvenile Court for Serious Crimes and sentenced to 22 years and 10 months. Another suspect, Yasin Hayal, was convicted of ordering the murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
However, the court ruled that Dink’s murder was not an organized crime despite serious claims that some civil servants were “indirectly” involved.
The appeal by the prosecutor’s office also noted that there was no active investigation in the beginning to determine the network among the conspirators.
The Turkish Presidency’s State Supervisory Council (DDK) recommended in an official report in February 2012 that top police and gendarmerie officials be prosecuted in the Dink murder case due to their alleged negligence before and after the journalist’s killing.
The DDK also touched on the need to reform the secret services in order to have the ability to prevent the murders of key personalities or social unrest like the bloody incidents that took place in Sivas in 1993 or in Kahramanmaraş in 1978. “Hrant Dink’s murder must be evaluated as a whole, starting from when Dink was singled out as a target and threatened,” the 650-page report said.
Claims were directed at Istanbul’s former Gov. Muammer Güler, as well as the Istanbul Police Department’s intelligence director, Ahmet İlhan Güler. Accordingly, the Trabzonchief of police sent a report to the Istanbul Police to warn of an assassination plot against Dink, but Güler allegedly did not take it seriously. Attempts to investigate Güler after the murder have been blocked.
The report’s findings regarding the negligence of the Trabzon Police Department have been omitted from the file put on the web. This section includes the assessment of six important criticisms leveled against the verdict.
Noting that senior civil servants had a direct role in not protecting Dink before the murder even though they had received crucial intelligence regarding the impending danger, the report suggested that these civil servants should also be prosecuted.