Ayşegül Usta ISTANBUL
The list of suspects in the murder case of Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist killed in 2007 in Istanbul, has been broadened, with the court listening to more high-ranking officials amid a move to merge the case of the convicted shooter with that of the alleged instigators.
Ergun Güngör, the Istanbul deputy governor at the time, testified on Dec. 9 at an Istanbul court as a suspect accused of negligence.
A day earlier, Ahmet İlhan Güler, the then-chief of police intelligence, testified. The then-Trabzon police chief Reşat Altay has also been called to testify, while former Istanbul police chief Celalettin Cerrah, along with seven others, are expected to appear in court soon.
A Bakırköy district court in Istanbul canceled the dismissal of charges against officials on June 6, handing the case to the Istanbul chief public prosecutor’s office.
Another court decision ruled to combine convicted assailant Ogün Samast’s case at the juvenile court with a case at the fifth high criminal court, in which Yusuf Hayal and Erhan Tuncel are accused of convincing Samast in the Black Sea province of Trabzon to shoot Dink in Istanbul.
“I will speak up,” Samast, who was 17 years old when he shot Dink in front of the latter’s office on Jan. 19, 2007, was quoted as saying in daily Taraf late last month. His words came in a letter sent to the prosecutor in charge of the investigation.
Civil servants and institutions allegedly implicated in the murder of Dink should be investigated, the Constitutional Court stated in a detailed ruling on the case on Nov. 12.