A criminal judge of peace in Istanbul has issued arrest warrants for Trabzon Police Department Assistant Commissioner Özkan Mumcu, and another police officer, Mühittin Zenit, on charges of negligence and misconduct in the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, Today’s Zaman reports.
Dink, the editor-in-chief of the Agos newspaper, was assassinated in broad daylight outside his office on Jan. 19, 2007.
Mumcu and Zenit had earlier testified to Prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü as part of the investigation into Dink’s murder. The prosecutor referred them to the court for arrest; however, they were later released by the İstanbul 5th Criminal Judge of Peace.
The officers are being accused of negligence and engaging in misconduct in relation to the Dink murder. Tape recordings of a phone conversation between Zenit and Erhan Tuncel, who worked as an informant for the Trabzon Police Department and was accused of initiating the effort to have Dink murdered, were leaked to the media. The conversation suggests that Zenit knew about the plot to murder Dink beforehand.
After prosecutor Kökçü filed an appeal protesting the court decision to release the two police officers, the Istanbul 6th Criminal Judge of Peace decided to issue arrest warrants for the two police officers.
Dink was shot and killed by an ultra-nationalist teenager. The hit man, Ogün Samast, and 18 others were brought to trial. Since then, the lawyers for the Dink family and the co-plaintiffs in the case have presented evidence indicating that Samast did not act alone. Another suspect, Yasin Hayal, was given life in prison for inciting Samast to murder.