Police chief arrested in Dink murder case

A police chief accused of negligence in the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink in 2007 was arrested after turning himself into the authorities in Ankaraon Jan. 19, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Police chief Ercan Demir was arrested on charges of “voluntary manslaughter with reckless behavior.”

Demir was controversially assigned as police chief of the southeastern province of Şırnak on Dec. 30, despite accusations of negligence ahead of Dink’s murder when he was the intelligence police chief in Trabzon province, where the convicted killer and his accomplices came from. Dink’s family lawyer has accused him of failing to monitor the killers despite receiving notices about the planned assassination.

After being assigned to Şırnak, Demir was then recalled to his previous post at the General Security Directorate’s Information Technologies unit in Ankara, and he submitted himself to the police on Jan. 16, the day when a court issued an arrest warrant for his role in the Dink case. Demir is expected to testify in Istanbul.

On Jan. 13, an Istanbul court arrested Muhittin Zenit and Özkan Mumcu, two policemen involved in the inquiry into the killing of Dink.

Mourners are set to march in Istanbul to commemorate Dink on Jan. 19, on the 8th anniversary of his killing.

Dink was assassinated by Ogün Samast, who is serving a sentence of 22 years and 10 months in a high-security prison, on a busy street outside the office of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos in Istanbul’s Şişli district.

Yusuf Hayal and Erhan Tuncel are accused of convincing Samast to shoot Dink, in the Black Sea province of Trabzon.

Civil servants and institutions allegedly implicated in the murder of Dink should be investigated, the Constitutional Court ruled on July 17, 2014. The ruling became a milestone in the case that has been lingering since the killing in 2007.

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