Court releases nine detainees in Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink murder case

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 08.10.2015 01:34

The nine suspects who were sent to court over the allegations that they deliberately neglected intelligence that led to the 2007 murder of Hrant Dink, a renowned Armenian-Turkish journalist, have been released on Thursday.

The suspects detained on Tuesday and Wednesday include former police intelligence chief for city of Trabzon where Dink's murder suspect and others involved in the murder hail from and former top executives of the intelligence branch of the police.

Five of the detained were taken into custody earlier on Wednesday upon the order of a public prosecutor at Istanbul's terror and organized crimes unit. The prosecutor has asked the court to arrest the suspects.

However, the five suspects have been released earlier on Thursday except for Ramazan Akyürek, the former head of the Turkish National Police's intelligence unit, who is believed to have ties with the Gülen Movement, Muhittin Zenit and Özkan Mumcu, two members of the Turkish National Police's intelligence department were sent back to prison as the three are facing other charges.

Prosecutor investigating the case had issued detention warrants for nine former police officers on Tuesday, including Ahmet İlhan Güler, a former intelligence director of police in Istanbul where the murder was committed, as well as Coşkun Çakar, a former deputy director of the Turkish National Police's intelligence department. Detention warrants stem from new evidence and findings in the investigation according to reports. Nine suspects have been charged by the prosecutor with being accessories to murder, forgery in and destruction of official documents and abuse of duty.

Dink, then editor-in-chief of the Armenian Agos newspaper, was shot dead by a teenager on Jan. 19, 2007 outside his office in Istanbul. Dink drew the ire of hardline Turkish nationalists in his lifetime, as he was one of the most outspoken voices calling for a debate to start on the controversial Armenian genocide issue. He received numerous death threats before his murder and faced several lawsuits for "denigrating Turkishness," an act punishable with prison terms, for his articles and editorials on the mass deaths of Armenians in 1915.

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