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Suspects in murder of editor Hrant Dink released by court

(BIANET/IFEX) - In the latest hearing of the trial concerned with the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court released two of the five detained defendants. Dink, then editor-in-chief of the Armenian newspaper "Agos", was shot in front of the paper's offices on 19 January 2007.

The court decided to keep defendants Erhan Tuncel, Ogün Samast and Yasin Hayal in custody, while Ersin Yolcu and Ahmet Iskender were released from detention pending trial.

During the 10 May 2010 hearing, a secret witness stated that suspect Osman Hayal, the brother of defendant Yasin Hayal, was at the scene of the crime as well when Dink was shot. Despite this statement and a request by the Dink family's lawyers for the arrest of Osman Hayal, the court decided to release him.

Furthermore, the court decided not to hear testimony from the former head of the Police Intelligence Department, Sabri Uzun, as the Dink family's lawyers had demanded. The court dismissed the lawyers' claim, arguing that Uzun's statement was not going to provide new insights into the case.

The joint attorneys for the Dink family had previously requested that the Public Prosecutor file a lawsuit with the Istanbul Governor, Muammer Güler, the former Istanbul Regional Head of the National Intelligence Agency (MIT), Özel Yilmaz, and the former Deputy Governor of Istanbul, Ergün Güngör. The court decreed that the criminal complaints should be filed by the lawyers instead.

Read the full BIANET statement
What other IFEX members are saying
Case history

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