The judge in the murder trial of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was taken into custody in the western province of Manisa Friday in connection with a probe of Dink's 2007 assassination, according to security sources speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking with the media.
Rüstem Eryılmaz, former president of the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court, which handled the Dink murder trial, had been wanted since July 19 for being a member of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which is blamed for the July 15 coup attempt.
Dink was murdered in broad daylight outside his office in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007. A founder of bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, he was considered one of the most prominent Armenian voices in Turkey.
Ogün Samast, aged 17 at the time of the killing, claimed he murdered Dink for "insulting Turkishness" and was jailed in 2011 for 23 years.
Since then, several prosecutors have become involved in the investigation, believing Samast was not the only person involved in the killing.
In April 2007, Istanbul prosecutors Selim Berna Altay and Fikret Secen prepared an indictment of over 18 suspects, including Samast.
In 2012, Eryilmaz acquitted the other suspects, saying there was not enough evidence indicating formation of a criminal organization.
In July 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled the murder case had been an "ineffective investigation."
Last December, another indictment was filed calling for the prosecution of 26 former police officers on charges of establishing an armed organization and dereliction of duty.
Gülenist links and allegations of a cover-up in the case were under the spotlight after 2013 coup attempts by Gülenist prosecutors and police. An Istanbul court reopened the case and the subsequent legal process saw former police chiefs detained for negligence and cover-ups. Most recently, several gendarmerie intelligence officers were arrested for negligence in the case. The gendarmerie's role in the alleged cover-up has never been investigated thoroughly, according to lawyers for the Dink family while photos showing several gendarmerie intelligence officers at the crime scene shortly before the killing were recently published by media outlets.
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