Court Says Hrant Dink Murder ‘Organized Crime,’ Sentences Tuncel to 99 Years, 6 Months in Jail

Court Says Hrant Dink Murder ‘Organized Crime,’ Sentences Tuncel to 99 Years, 6 Months in Jail

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Verdicts on nine defendants whose files were separated from the main trial of the killing of Hrant Dink, the editor-in-chief of the Agos newspaper, have been announced.

Erhan Tuncel has been sentenced to 99 years, Yasin Hayal has been sentenced to 7 years and 6 months, Ogün Samast has been sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison. The main trial of the public officials will continue.

Zeynel Abidin Yavuz has been sentenced to 12 years and 6 months in prison for “assistance to murder” and 1 year, 6 months and 22 days in prison for “membership of an armed organization.”

Tuncay Uzundal has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for “assistance to murder” and 1 year, 10 months and 15 days in prison for “membership of an armed organization.”

Salih Hacısalihoğlu and Osman Hayal have been acquitted.

Files of Erhan Tuncel, Yasin Hayal, Ogün Samast, Zeynel Abidin Yavuz, Ersin Yolcu, Ahmet İskender, Tuncay Uzundal, Salih Hacısalihoğlu and Osman Hayal were separated in the 93rd hearing on June 13 at the İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court. In the hearing on June 27, the prosecutor requested prison terms for these defendants in the opinion as to the accusations.

Erhan Tuncel was present at the courthouse in today’s (July 17) hearing, while Yasin Hayal in Tekirdağ Prison, Ogün Samast in Kocaeli Prison, Osman Hayal and Ersin Yolcu in other provinces attended the case via the Audio and Video Informatics System (SEGBİS).

Attorneys of the defendants with Hakan Bakırcıoğlu and Hülya Deveci were present at the hearing. The trial continued with defense statements by defendants who did not give their statements in the previous hearing.

Osman Hayal and Yasin Hayal requested acquittal

Attorney of Osman Hayal and Yasin Hayal who spoke first said that they do not agree with the charge of organization management and claimed that there are not sufficient conditions to be an organization. Stating that the conditions of organized crime are not present, the attorney requested acquittal of this charge.

Samast made a short statement

Speaking next, Ogün Samast gave a short statement, saying that he did not commit an organized crime. Making a definition of a crime organization citing verdicts by the Supreme Court of Appeals, he requested his acquittal of this charge.

Samast also stated that he accepts the announcement of the verdict to be deferred and requested to benefit from the effective remorse law.

Samast’s attorney also stated that the material elements of the crime are not present and requested his client’s acquittal.

Tuncel: There was a plot against me

Erhan Tuncel spoke next, saying that he notified the police on the killing of Hrant Dink as assistant intelligence personnel and that he was made a defendant although he was an informer.

“The people whom I gave their name committed the murder. And then my name was announced to the press as the instigator. I was accused although I was the informer. Public officials were tried to be cleared of blame. Evidence in my favor was not collected.

“Some documents were leaked to the press before the investigation began. Although the investigation was confidential, reports were published in the press continuously. I was put into the position of the defendant in this case. Our requests for investigations were rejected.

“Serious steps were not taken to enlighten the Dink murder. Roles of the public officials were not investigated. There was a plot against me. I was made a target. The murder I notified beforehand was not prevented.

“I told Yasin Hayal not to conduct this activity. But he said he will do this at all costs. And I notified the police on this.

“The officials at the Trabzon Security Directorate and the Intelligence Chamber Presidency did not perform the duties that they had to do. I am not a member of an organization. I performed an intelligence duty. Security officials assigned me to this duty. I did not commit the offense of instigation. There was already a decision for the act. I did not have the intention to commit a crime. I did some things to my identity not to be revealed. This murder was going to be committed anyway.”

Tuncel ended his three-our statement with the request of acquittal of all charges. (HA/VK)

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