Two police officers arrested in Dink murder case

Two police officers for whom arrest warrants were issued on Monday on charges of negligence and misconduct in the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, were placed under arrest by the court on Tuesday, Today’s Zaman reports. 

Dink, editor-in-chief of the Agos newspaper, was assassinated in broad daylight outside his office on Jan. 19, 2007.

A criminal judge of peace in İstanbul issued arrest warrants for Trabzon Police Department Assistant Commissioner Özkan Mumcu and another police officer, Mühittin Zenit, on Monday.

Zenit and Mumcu, who were detained on Monday following the arrest warrants, were then arrested on Tuesday and they were sent to prison.

Mumcu and Zenit had earlier testified to Prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü as part of the investigation of 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.

After Kökçü filed an appeal protesting the court decision to release the two police officers, the İstanbul 6th Criminal Judge of Peace decided to issue arrest warrants for the two officers.

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 at the time 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.

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 commit murder.

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