Having started to present his defense, former Trabzon Provincial Police Chief Reşat Altay claimed that he hadn't been informed about Dink murder before or after the murder.
Yesterday, the court started to hear the suspects. Former Trabzon Provincial Police Chief Reşat Altay was the first one to present his defense.
Altay said that he was assigned to the office in 2006 and none of the units had informed him about the plans for murdering Hrant Dink. Responding the questions concerning Erhan Tuncel, Altay said that no one said that Erhan Tuncal provides information from the group planning to murder Dink.
Here are the highlights from his statement:
“When I started to work in Trabzon, I received briefs from all branch directors. Engin Dinç was the director of the intelligence branch and he hadn't informed me about the groups planning to murder Hrant Dink.
“Engin Dinç told me that the assisting intelligence employee named 'Memduh' is acting aggressively, hasn't been attending the meetings and he might get involved in some undesirable events. He said that Memduh is related to some extreme right wing groups. I told Dinç that I could speak to this employee, but he said that he will speak to him. After 6 or 7 months, Faruk Sarı, who was incumbent director of the intelligence branch then, came to me and asked for help about the same employee for dismissing him.”
“Right after the murder, Istanbul Provincial Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah called me. He said that they caught someone who was an assisting intelligence employee working in Trabzon. He said that Muhittin Zenit had been in contact with him and he has to come to Istanbul. Zenit was serving in Bayburt. I called him and he said that he is in Erzurum, where his father lives. Ramazan Akyürek was with Cerrah. I talked to him as well. He hadn't said anything about Yasin Hayal and his friends. In Ankara, during the meeting of police chiefs, I provided information to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They told me that I am dismissed."
During Altay's defense, the members of the court, prosecutor and lawyers of Dink family asked some questions to Altay.
His answers were as the following:
"When I was serving in Trabzon, there were only 2 assisting intelligence employees.
"They said that Erhan Tuncel hadn't provided any information; so I hadn't checked his file.
"When I talked to Ahmet İlhan Güler on the phone, I found out that Faruk Sarı said that Ramazan Akyürek told them not to inform the director.
"Dink had been on the agenda. Newspapers had been publishing statements about him and the cases against him. He should have been followed very closely. A hit-man was found, then they changed him and found another one. However, there is no record of this information in the state archives. There is an effort to prevent someone from finding it out. I am an officer who acts in good faith. If I knew something, I would have called Istanbul and warned them. The people who knew something about the murder hadn't informed anybody."