Dink murder trial restarts amid family’s protest, court rules for arrest of key suspect

The trial into the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink restarted in Istanbul today following an overturn of the first verdict as the victim’s family protested the trial, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

“As the Dink family, we will no more be tools to the state mechanisms that have been mocking us and we will not attend the hearings of the retrial,” the Dink family said in a letter ahead of today’s hearing. “The crime coalition that is called the sate recommitted the murder in every hearing, every day while it showed itself as if seeking for justice. That coalition is the crime gang itself that planned the murder and then covered it up,” the family’s letter read.

In today’s hearing, the court issued an arrest warrant for Erhan Tuncel, a former police informant and suspect in the murder case who was released after the first verdict.

Tuncel is seen as a key in linking the murder to the state institutions as members of the Police Department in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, the suspects’ hometown, have been accused of failing to relay intelligence provided by Tuncel to the Trabzon Gendarmerie Command in a report prepared by Turkey’s State Supervisory Council (DDK).

Dink, the renowned editor-in-chief of Agos, was shot in front of his office in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007.

The triggerman, Ogün Samast, 17-years-old at the time of the murder, and Yasin Hayal, who was charged of being the instigator of the assassination, were convicted of the murder. However, a high criminal court dismissed charges related to “armed terrorist organization.” The Supreme Court of Appeals verdict defined the acts of all suspects in the case under “an organization formed to commit crime” according to Turkish Penal Code Article 220.

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