Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office accepted an indictment against 26 suspects on Wednesday in the murder case of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink and referred it to Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court, Daily Sabah reports.
The Criminal Court will decide whether to approve of the indictment or return it. In case of an approval, the 26 suspects will stand a trial at the court.
Terror and Organized Crimes Prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü submitted the indictment to Istanbul the Public Prosecutor’s Office in October, requesting the arrests of alleged suspects, for forming an organization to commit crimes, deliberate killing, and forgery on documents.
Suspects include the former Istanbul Police Department Chief, Celalettin Cerrah and former Istanbul Police Intelligence Department Head, Engin Dinç.
The indictment submitted by Kökçü for approval was returned two times by the prosecutor’s office due to incomplete documents, but was finally approved on Wednesday.
Dink, then editor-in-chief of the Armenian Agos newspaper, was shot dead by a teenager on Jan. 19, 2007 outside his office in Istanbul. Dink drew the ire of hardline Turkish nationalists in his lifetime, as he was one of the most outspoken voices calling for a debate to start on the controversial Armenian genocide issue. He received numerous death threats before his murder and faced several lawsuits for “denigrating Turkishness,” an act punishable with prison terms, for his articles and editorials on the mass deaths of Armenians in 1915.
The role of police officers and public officials in the plot to kill the Dink had come to light as a new investigation focused on an alleged cover-up of the murder by officials linked to the Gülen Movement, which is accused of attempts to overthrow the government.