Istanbul court orders release of two suspects in murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink

Published 21.12.2018 00:00
Updated 21.12.2018 18:50

An Istanbul court has ordered the release of two suspects in the 2007 murder of Hrant Dink, a prominent Armenian-Turkish journalist.

Istanbul's 14th Criminal Court decided Friday to release former Brigadier Hamza Celepoğlu and former Sergeant Yavuz Karakaya.

Other suspects in the case, including Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader Fetullah Gülen, former FETÖ-linked prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, some journalists, gendarmerie forces and former security officers are still on trial. Six of the suspects are in jail while 14 of them are fugitives.

They are all charged with voluntary manslaughter and attempting to disrupt constitutional order.

Dink, editor-in-chief of Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos, was killed outside his office on Jan. 19, 2007.

In 2011, Ogün Samast was sentenced to 23 years in prison for the killing. Samast, who was 17 years old in early 2007, claimed he killed Dink for "insulting Turkishness."

Last year, the FETÖ — which plotted the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016 — was officially tied to the case.

A 120-page indictment said soldiers and police involved in the Dink murder later played an active role in the coup attempt.

The next hearings are set to start on March 12 next year.

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