Çağatay Kenarlı / Istanbul, Oct 7 () - Seven former police officers have been detained on charges of “negligence on public duty,” as fresh evidence surfaced in the case into the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.
Istanbul Police Department Counterterrorism Unit officers detained seven former police officers on Oct. 7, after the chief public prosecutor heading the investigation issued detention warrants for nine police officers.
The nine suspects are reported to have been on duty in the police departments in Istanbul, Ankara and the Black Sea province of Trabzon when Dink was murdered on Jan. 19, 2007.
The detention warrants were issued for former Istanbul Police Department Intelligence Unit Head Ahmet İlhan Güler, former National Police Intelligence Technology Unit Head Yunus Yazar, former National Police Intelligence Unit Deputy Head Coşkun Çakar, former Trabzon Police Department Intelligence Unit Head Faruk Sarı, and former police officers Yılmaz Angın, Bülent Demireleski, Osman Gülbel, Mehmet Ayhan, and Onur Karakaya, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Meanwhile, the four former police officers under arrest in the investigation - Ramazan Akyürek, Ercan Demir, Özkan Mumcu and Muhittin Zenit - have all been asked to testify again as new evidence was disclosed in the case, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.
Zenit, Mumcu and Demir had previously been arrested on charges of negligence on duty that caused Dink’s murder, while Ali Fuat Yılamzer, the former police intelligence chief in the Istanbul Police Department, was arrested on charges of “helping commit organized murder” and “forming an illegal organization to commit crime.”
Akyürek, the head of the Trabzon Police Department at the time of Dink’s murder, was arrested on charges of “negligence on duty that caused death.”
The murdered Dink, who was editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper Agos, was shot dead outside its office building in Istanbul’s Şişli district on Jan. 19, 2007 by a 17-year-old named Ogün Samast.
Relatives and followers of the case have claimed that government officials, police, military personnel and members of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT) played a role in Dink’s murder by neglecting their duty to protect the journalist.