The Court of Appeals dismissed the application filed by Ogün Samast, convicted murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, to benefit from the regulation stipulating that the upper limit for the period of arrest for defendants of heavy crimes is set at five years.
The Court of Appeals 1st Criminal Office rejected Samast's request to be released. Samast was sentenced to imprisonment of 22 years and ten months on charges of "premeditated murder" and "unlicensed possession of weapons" on 25 July 2011.
After the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court acquitted all defendants of the Dink murder trial of charges of "membership in an illegal organization" on 17 January, it was reported that Yasin Hayal and Ogün Samast might be released according to Article 102 of the Criminal Procedure Law (CMK).
Article 102 CMK defines the duration of detention. The limit for the period of arrest for defendants of heavy crimes is set at five years and for defendants charged with "terror crimes" at ten years. Thus, there was the possibility of early release.
Lawyer Cem Halavurt, joint attorney of the Dink family, had told bianet, "There is the possibility of early release for Samast. He was handed down a prison sentence of 22 years and ten months. The file does not include organization charges any more. Hence, the offence committed fell under the scope of 'petty crimes'. In this situation, the period to be served in prison was reduced by one third. Since it was a petty crime the release is required once five years are exceeded". (IC/VK)
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