Here is a list of some important public officials who are and are not included in the bill of indictment.
The bill of indictment about public officials that is prepared as a part of the investigation of Hrant Dink’s assassination, who is the founder and the chief editor of Agos, is sent to Public Prosecutor of Istanbul. In the bill, it is demanded that former Trabzon Intelligence Branch Director Engin Dinç, former Trabzon Provincial Police Chief Reşat Altay and former Istanbul Police Directorate Intelligence Branch Chief Ahmet İlhan Güler, who were in office at the time of the assassination, should be prosecuted for murder by omission. If the bill of indictment is approved, they will be tried with a request of 20-25 years of prison sentence. Former Istanbul Provincial Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah and Istanbul Intelligence Branch Chief Sabri Uzun, who were in office at the time of the assassination, will stand trial for official misconduct.
Aggravated life imprisonment is requested for former Security General Directorate Intelligence Branch Chief Ramazan Akyürek and İstanbul Intelligence Branch Director Ali Fuat Yılmazer on charge of premeditated murder.
This is an important development for the case. Since the beginning of the investigation, lawyers of Dink family demanded that not only the hit-men, but also the public officials who condoned or assisted the assassination should be prosecuted not for neglect of duty but for “assisting murder”. Prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü heard many public officials during the investigation process and he prepared a bill of indictment based on these testimonies and presented them to the Office of the Chief Prosecutor. Kökçü also demanded that the case that will be opened against these public officials should be included in the case that is tried by İstanbul 5th High Penal Court. If the bill is approved, the public officials will be tried.
On the other hand, this bill of indictment doesn’t answer all the demands of the lawyers of Dink family. For instance, Istanbul Governorship, which “warned” Hrant Dink, and Intelligence Office of Turkey (MİT) aren’t included in the bill. There are more than 50 public officials that the lawyers demand to be tried. So, what were the positions of these public officials before, during and after the assassination? What are the accusations against them? What is expected of them to answer? Here is a list of some important public officials who are and are not included in the bill of indictment.
He is the current chief of Security General Directorate Intelligence Branch. He was the director of Trabzon Intelligence Branch between August 2004 and September 2006. The bombing attack in a branch of McDonalds and the murder of Father Santoro happened during his term. Erhan Tuncel was one of the perpetrators of the bombing and Dinç excluded him from the investigation and made him an informant.
Hakan Bakırcıoğlu, one of the lawyers of Dink Family, in a petition to İstanbul Prosecution Office that was presented on August 2015, accused Engin Dinç of not sending a written report to the Governor of Trabzon, Public Prosecutor of Trabzon, Trabzon Gendarmerie Command and MİT, though he knew about the assassination plans of Yasin Hayal and his crime enterprise since 15 February 2006.
Ahmet İlhan Güler
He was the chief of Istanbul Police Directorate Intelligence Branch at the time of Hrant Dink’s assassination. He was appointed to this office in 2003. On 17 February 2006, a report informing that Yasin Hayal incites hatred against Armenians and he plans to do something to Hrant Dink was sent to Istanbul Police Directorate Intelligence Branch and Ahmet İlhan Güler saw and signed this report. Thus, he had information about the attack plan.
The trials against Hrant Dink on the charge of “denigrating Turkishness” were one of the most important events that made him a target. Ahmet İlhan Güler signed the information documents about these trials. He also attended the official provincial security meetings where the issues concerning Hrant Dink and hatred against Armenians were discussed.
Bakırcıoğlu claimed that they hadn’t taken protection measures intentionally.
On 17 February 2006, when the information about Yasin Hayal’s plans were received, and at the time of assassination, he was the Istanbul Provincial Police Chief. Cerrah, in his testimony, said that the negative developments concerning Hrant Dink and Armenian society were discussed at the provincial security meetings. The letter of the Armenian Patriarch Mesrop Mutafyan, which was sent to Istanbul Governorship, demanding protection for Armenian establishments including Agos was sent to Istanbul Provincial Security Directorate during his term. On 12 October 2006, when a report was sent to all the provincial security directorates in Turkey ordering that they should come to attention about the possible attacks against Armenians, Cerrah was in office in İstanbul. In the bill of indictment, he is accused of official misconduct and it is demanded that he should be tried with a request of 1 year of prison sentence.
Bakırcıoğlu claimed that Cerrah hadn’t taken protection measures intentionally.
On 15 May 2006, he started his service as Trabzon Provincial Police Chief and he was in office at the time of the assassination. In his testimony, he claimed that he wasn’t informed about Hrant Dink’s assassination. On the other, Engin Dinç, in his testimony, said that Altay was informed about all the activities in the office when he was appointed. Erhan Tuncel, who was providing information about plans for assassinating Hrant Dink, was discharged before the assassination, when Altay was still the chief. Moreover, during the investigation, it is revealed that an intelligence report about Hrant Dink was prepared during his term.
Bakırcıoğlu claimed that Altay hadn’t conducted an operation against the crime enterprise intentionally.
He was the chief of Security General Directorate Intelligence Branch between June 2003 and March 2006. A report, which was sent on 13 October 2005, informing that Yasin Hayal incites hatred against Armenians and he plans an attack against them and another report, which was sent on 15 February 2006, informing that Yasin Hayal will kill Hrant Dink at all costs were sent to the office in Uzun’s term. In the bill of indictment, he is accused of official misconduct and it is demanded that he should be tried with a request of 1 year of prison sentence.
He is a former chief of Security General Directorate Intelligence Branch. On February 28, he was arrested in the scope of Hrant Dink case. He is the number one suspect in the bill of indictment. He was Trabzon Provincial Police Chief between December 2003 and May 2006. The bombing attack in a branch of McDonalds and the murder of Father Santoro happened during his term in Trabzon. The intelligence reports of Hrant Dink’s assassinations were also prepared in his term in Trabzon. He is accused of not informing Public Prosecutor, Trabzon Gendarmerie Command and MİT about the intelligence reports and not conducting an operation against Yasin Hayal and his crime enterprise. Aggravated life imprisonment is requested for him on the charge of premeditated murder.
He was the director of Trabzon Police Directorate Intelligence Branch at the time of the Dink’s assassination. After Akyürek was appointed as the chief of Security General Directorate Intelligence Branch, Sarı was appointed to the office by the request of Reşat Altay, who considered Sarı as his “reliable man”. In his term, the meetings with Erhan Tuncel were still going on and he had information about the assassination.
Ali Fuat Yılmazer
On July 2005, he began his service as the director of Office C of the Security General Directorate Intelligence Branch and he was in office at the time of Dink’s assassination. The actions and plans of Yasin Hayal were in the scope of the responsibility of this office. The intelligence reports about Dink’s assassination were sent to the Security General Directorate Intelligence Branch in his term. Yılmazer, in his testimony, said that he had information about the plans for assassination and there are files about Hrant Dink in the archives of the Security General Directorate Intelligence Branch. It is claimed that Yılmazer didn’t presented the intelligence information to the relevant authorities. Aggravated life imprisonment is requested for him on the charge of premeditated murder.
He is not in the bill of indictment. On 17 February 2003, he began his service as the Governor of Istanbul. He was in the office at the time Dink’s assassination. In his testimony to the Human Rights Investigation Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, he said that he had information about the threats against Hrant Dink. During his term, he received petitions requesting protection for Armenian establishments. He was leading the provincial security meetings where the issues concerning Hrant Dink were being discussed. It is demanded that he should be prosecuted for not taking the necessary protection measures.
Eight years of legal struggle
Guidance of ECHR
- After the assassination, the first lawsuit was opened on 20 April 2007 at Istanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court.
- While the trials were going on, ECHR accepted the application of Dink Family. ECHR chamber decided for a violation of the right to life because Turkey did not prevent the murder of the journalist and did not carry out an effective investigation afterwards, and convicted Turkey on 14 September 2010.
- On 17 January 2012, the court decided that there is no evidence about a crime enterprise. No public officials were included in the investigation despite the demands of the lawyers of Dink family.
- On 13 May 2013, Penal Department no. 9 of the Supreme Court reversed the judgment on “crime enterprise” and demanded re-trial. Istanbul 5th High Penal Court started the re-trial.
- With several legal changes, ECHR’s decision made new investigations possible and lawyers of Dink family demanded an investigation about the public officials.
- On 17 July 2014, the Constitutional Court decided that there was no effective investigation.
- Prosecutor Yusuf Doğan conducted the new investigation and he was appointed to the Supreme Court, Prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü took over the investigation.
- As part of this investigation, many public officials including Sabri Uzun, Ramazan Akyürek, Ali Fuat Yılmazer, Ahmet İlhan Güler, Celalettin Cerrah, Faruk Sarı and Reşat Altay testified as “suspects”.
- Muhittin Zenit, Özkan Mumcu, Ercan Demir, Ramazan Akyürek and Ali Fuat Yılmazer were arrested.