9 June 2009
Reporter faces up to 28 years in prison for book about journalist's murder
(BIANET/IFEX) - Nedim Sener, a reporter for the daily "Milliyet", who has written a book about the murder of journalist Hrant Dink, faces up to 28 years in prison after police officers filed complaints against him. Sener's book is entitled, "The Dink Murder and Intelligence Lies".
The book deals with the gendarmerie, police and national intelligence officers who have been accused of negligence in the 2007 murder of Dink. They are accused both of having prior knowledge of the murder plans and of preventing the solving of the case with misleading evidence and fake documents.
Sener has said, "I published the incidents of negligence of these three important state intelligence institutions in the Dink murder case, giving names. I have proven that fake documents were prepared. Documents marked as classified and containing lies were published in the book."
Following the publication of the book, several police officers filed criminal complaints against the writer. The officers included Ramazan Akyürek, former Chief of Police in Trabzon and the current Police Intelligence Unit Chief, Ali Fuat Yýlmazer, former Police Intelligence C Unit Manager and the current Istanbul Intelligence Unit Chief, and Muhittin Zenit, the police officer responsible for police informant Erhan Tuncel, who is now accused of encouraging Ogün Samast to kill Dink.
The officers demanded that Sener be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Law.
Another complaint was filed by Faruk Sarý, Trabzon Police Intelligence Branch Manager.
All in all, Sener faces up to 28 years in prison. He stands accused of "targeting people involved in anti-terrorism campaigns, revealing classified information, obtaining classified information, violating the secrecy of these communications, and attempting to influence the judiciary."
The journalist said, "What they are trying to punish is the basic procedure of journalism, finding and publishing documents, finding out who are the public officials who have responsibility in Hrant Dink's murder. It is very strange that the Trabzon gendarmerie command's staff accused of negligence is facing up to two years imprisonment in a trial at the Trabzon 2nd Criminal Court of Peace, while no one from the Trabzon police force, which has also been described as negligent, is being tried."
The Istanbul 11th Penal Court is dealing with one of the cases against the journalist, in which he faces up to twenty years in prison. The court hearing is scheduled for 26 June 2009. The Istanbul Second Criminal Court of First Instance is dealing with a second case, where a sentence of up to 8 years is being demanded. That hearing is scheduled for 10 June.
The 28 years that Sener faces represent eight years more than Samast, who is being tried for shooting Dink, faces.
Sener said, "On the one hand, the Penal Court is prosecuting those who committed the murder or had a hand in it, and on the other hand, it is prosecuting a journalist who has revealed the lies of Turkey's intelligence institutions."