Turkish Colonel’s retrial on Dink murder resumes

The retrial against Colonel Ali Oz, accused of neglect of duty in failing to prevent the Hrant Dink murder, resumed on Thursday in Trabzon, but the court immediately adjourned the hearing for technical reasons, reports.

Turkish–Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was murdered in January 2007 by Ogun Samast, who claimed that Dink insulted Turkishness. Dink, who was the editor in chief of Agos Newspaper in Turkey, was a strong critic of Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. He was considered as one of Turkey’s most prominent Armenian voices.

Dink’s killer, Samast, was jailed for 22 years in 2011. However, police investigations following his capture revealed a possible link to an ultra-nationalist organization.

The lawsuit against Gendarmerie Commander of Turkey’s Trabzon province, Colonel Ali Oz, started after the revelation of intelligence indicating that preparations for the murder had started almost a year before the murder. Oz is accused for not informing authorities regarding the received intelligence about the murder, and for forging documents to make it seem like the intelligence had been obtained after the murder.

Seven other soldiers under Oz’s command are also facing prison sentences.

Oz was charged a second time by a different court, but the second case was rejected since there cannot be two different cases for the same crime.

As a result of the first case, Colonel Oz and 5 other soldiers under his command were sentenced to jail for 4 to 6 months. This decision was sent to the High Court for examination, and the appeal remains unfinished. Thursday’s hearing was postponed until the High Court’s examination concludes.

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