One suspect in Hrant Dink murder case gets life, while another was acquitted of murder charges by the court in Turkey.
Istanbul / NationalTurk – A Turkish court has convicted Yasin Hayal, a major suspect in the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, of murder and sentenced him to life in prison, while the instigator Erhan Tuncel was acquitted of murder charges by the same court.
The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court issued its verdict in the 25th hearing of the Hrant Dink murder case. Both Hayal and Tuncel were cleared of charges of membership in a terrorist organization. Tuncel was given 10 years, six months for his role in a McDonalds bombing in 2004.
Dink family’s lawyer, Fethiye Çetin, slammed the ruling, saying it meant that a “state tradition of political murders” was deliberately left intact because it did not deal with accusations of state involvement in the 2007 murder.
Hrant Dink’s Family and Friends not pleased with the verdict
“They made fun of us throughout the five-year trial process. We did not know they saved the biggest joke to the very end,” she told media members soon after the verdict was read out by the court. “This ruling means a tradition was left untouched. The state tradition of political murders. The tradition of state discriminating against some of its citizens and turning them into enemies,” she stated.
Çetin also vowed to pursue all available legal remedies against the ruling, asserting that the verdict marked the end of only an initial phase of the case, which consisted of the trial of hitmen in the murder.
Rakel Dink, wife of Hrant Dink also joined hundreds of people as they shout slogans and hold placards that read ‘This case won’t end this way’ and ‘ Justice for Hrant’ outside the courthouse in Besiktas, İstanbul on Jan. 17, 2012. The crowd began to march in Istanbul and their numbers grow with every passing minute.
Hrant Dink Murder Case: More than a Ultranationalist plot, where only simple gunmen punished yet
Hrant Dink, the late editor-in-chief of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, was gunned down on Jan. 19, 2007 by an ultranationalist teenager, Ogün Samast, outside the offices of his newspaper in İstanbul in broad daylight. The investigation into his murder has stalled; the suspected perpetrator and his accomplices were put on trial, but those who masterminded the plot to kill the Turkish Armenian journalist have yet to be exposed and punished.
The prosecutor had demanded life imprisonment for seven men accused of involvement in the killing of Dink. “It’s been five years. All the evidence clearly shows we can’t be satisfied with the punishment of two or three people who committed the murder. Those who pointed to Dink, who said, ‘Kill him,’ who waited for him to be killed are all about to come out of this clean,” Hrant’s Friends announced in a statement yesterday.
Breaking news on Hrant Dink Murder Case Verdicts :
First response of Turkish Government on verdicts came from Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ertuğrul Günay.
” Sentence of acquittal is grave ” declared Günay.