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In the two years since journalist Hrant Dink's murder, nobody has been brought to justice

(BIANET/IFEX) - The following is an abbreviated version of a 19 January 2009 BIANET press release:

The trial in the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink started on 2 July 2007 in Istanbul. In the following excerpt, lawyers Fethiye Cetin and Deniz Tuna summarise events at the trial.

Two years have passed since Hrant Dink's murder. In a report a year ago, we evaluated the trial and came to the following conclusions:

- The murder of Hrant Dink, preparations for his murder, making him a public target, encouraging his murder, the involvement of security forces, the preparation of a hitman and the carrying out of the murder are all part of the same process. However, although this sequence of events needs to be looked at as a whole, it has been separated into parts. Thus, the entities investigating the events are blind to the whole sequence. If the period before and after the murder is not considered together with the murder, then the Hrant Dink murder investigation will not reach any conclusions.

- Security forces and all intelligence units had determined that Hrant Dink's life was under serious and imminent threat. Intelligence units had even been informed of all the details concerning the murder plan. Nevertheless, no precautions were taken. On the contrary, some public officers tried to cover up evidence and hid information about the gravity of the situation from each other. The gendarmerie, the police force and MIT (Turkish secret service) did not share any information about Hrant Dink's murder. On the contrary, we have seen that they kept information from each other and, after the murder, accused each other.

- During the investigation, the public officers being investigated continued on active duty. These were people in leading positions, and they were involved in handing in documents for the investigation themselves. That is, the investigation was based on the evidence handed in by those under investigation. This alone shows that the investigation cannot have been independent or reliable.

- The public officers being investigated not only offered documents to the administrative investigation, but also to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office investigating the murder of Hrant Dink. Some of them are still today giving evidence and documents in the court case running at the Istanbul 14th Serious Crime Penal Court. It is clear that Hrant Dink's murder will not be solved as long as these officers continue on active duty and are allowed to hand over information, documents and evidence.

Unfortunately, two years after the murder, the above statements still hold true. There have been no positive developments.

The main development in this case, where a total of 19 suspects were on trial last year (eight of them in detention), is that another suspect is on trial. Osman Hayal, the elder brother of suspect Yasin Hayal, has been found to have been in Istanbul on the day of the murder. Initially, a witness in the case, he has now been added to the trial as a defendant.

Updates the Dink case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/91452

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