In the scope of the Hrant Dink murder case tried at the Trabzon 1st Criminal Court of First Instance, the court dismissed the request of the eight defendants for a recusation of the judge. Charges of "neglect" are pressed against eight gendarmerie officers, among them Colonel Ali Öz, who allegedly failed to take the necessary measures regarding the assassination plot against Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Dink was shot in front of his office in Istanbul on 19 January 2007.
In the 11th hearing on 28 July, Ali Sürmen, lawyer of Trabzon Provincial Gendarmerie Commander Colonel Öz, had requested to recuse Judge Şevki Uluçam from the 2nd Magistrate Criminal Court because of a lack of neutrality.
Lawyer Sürmen now prepares an appeal against the dismissal to be submitted to the Trabzon 1st Criminal Court of First Instance. Thereupon, the 2nd Magistrate Criminal Court decided to await further steps of the lawyer before proceeding with the trial, which is about to reach its final stage.
Bakırcıoğlu: ECHR decision to be presented later on
In the judgement on the Hrant Dink case pronounced by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday (14 September), Turkey was convicted of a violation of the right to life, of freedom of expression and the right to an effective remedy.
Hakan Bakırcıoğlu, joint attorney of Dink's family, talked to bianet after the hearing on 15 September. He said the case would be continued on 24 November.
bianet asked Bakırcıoğlu if the ECHR decision had been on the agenda of the hearing. The lawyer replied, "We found it appropriate to present the ECHR decision to the court after the full text will have been translated into Turkish".
Proceeding of the Trabzon case
If the recusation request should be dismissed again, the trial will proceed to reach a final decision. In this case, the decision of the ECHR will have to be evaluated by the court. The ruling of the international court demanded the prosecution of police officials who carry any responsibility for the murder, i.e. neglect or other, in particular of the gendarmerie and police officials in Trabzon.
Defendants Colonel Öz, Captain Metin Yıldız, non-commissioned Officers Gazi Günay and Hüseyin Yılmaz, Command Sergeant Major Okan Şimşek and Special Sergeants Veysel Şahin, Hacı Ömer Ünalır and Önder Araz are facing imprisonment of six months to two years under charges of "misconduct in office by means of neglect".
Despite information obtained one year earlier on a planned attack against Agos newspaper founder Dink, Ogün Samast came from Pelitli (Trabzon) to Istanbul and killed Dink in front of his office in Şişli on 19 January 2007. The number of detained defendants of the murder case tried in Istanbul has gone down to three. Besides Samast, Yasin Hayal is detained for alleged incitement to the murder as well as police informant Erhan Tuncel. The Istanbul trial will continue on 25 October.
Lawyer Çetin: "Dink Case will be extended after ECHR decision"
In a press conference on Wednesday (15 September) after the pronouncement of the ECHR judgement,124414, joint attorney of the Dink family, Fethiye Çetin, announced: "We will apply for launching investigations into the activities of all people who are to be held responsible for this incident, namely officials of the National Intelligence Agency (MIT), the gendarmerie, the police and state officials".
The joint attorneys declared that the ECHR decision was going to be added to the file of the Dink murder case.
The press conference held in the Istanbul Hilton Hotel was attended by lawyers Fethiye Çetin and Arzu Becerik, Prof. Turgut Tarhanlı and Prof. Sibel Inceoğlu from the Bilgi University School of Law and Rober Koptaş, General Publication Director of the Armenian Agos newspaper. (EÖ/BT/VK)