The High Criminal Court of Rize (eastern Black Sea coast) dismissed the appeal against the decision to drop procedures related to the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. The joint attorneys of the family of the slain journalists had filed an appeal with the Rize Court against the decision given by the Trabzon High Criminal Court.
Accordingly, Faruk Sarı and Engin Dinç, on duty for the Chief of the Trabzon Police Intelligence Branch; the two former Chiefs of the Trabzon Police, Ramazan Akyürek and Reşat Altay; Muhettin Zenit who was responsible for the communication with assistant intelligence staff member Erhan Tuncel; Özkan Mumcu, Mehmet Ayhan and Onur Karakaya, Department Chief Inspector Ercan Demir and the Chief of the Trabzon Anti-Terror Branch, Yahya Öztürk, will not be prosecuted in the context of the Dink murder.
The Dink family lawyers demanded the investigation of the above mentioned persons and later on appealed the decision for the closing of procedures. Both their petition and the appeal put forward that the officials of the Trabzon police at the time were responsible for the killing of Hrant Dink, then editor-in-chief of the Armenian Agos newspaper.
Petition came a long way
Hrant Dink, founder of the Armenian Agos newspaper, was killed in front of his office in Istanbul on 19 January 2007.
In February 2010, the Dink family submitted a petition to the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court that handles the Dink murder case. The plaintiff lawyers petitioned for an investigation about the officials at the Trabzon Police on duty at the time of the murder.
The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court forwarded the petition to the Istanbul Public Chief Prosecution. On 28 May 2010, the Istanbul Prosecution decided to drop procedures and allocated the investigation to the Trabzon Public Chief Prosecution.
The Trabzon prosecution announced their decision one month later, saying that there was "no need for a prosecution".
On 16 September 2010, the Dink family lawyers appealed the decision with the Rize High Criminal Court. They requested to lift the decision of the Trabzon Public Chief Prosecution regarding the abatement of action.
The plaintiff lawyers requested to launch a trial against the Trabzon police officers by taking into account the "new evidence" that emerged from the statements given by Emin Arslan, Levent Yarımel and Reşat Altay. Yet, The Rize High Criminal Court dismissed their appeal despite the additional information.
It was stated in the court decision that the Istanbul Police Directorate and the Intelligence Department Presidency of the Police General Directorate had been informed by the Trabzon Police about the murder on 15 February 2006 and about the concrete assassination plot on 17 February 2006.
With the latest decision of the Rize High Criminal Court, domestic remedies have been exhausted. (HK/ÖV/VK)