Hakan Bakırcıoğlu: Persistent effort is necessary for truth

Trials of main case of Dink murder will start on April 19. Before the trails, we talked to Dink family's lawyer Hakan Bakırcıoğlu about the prosecution process.

Supreme Court 5th Penal Chamber decided that the lawsuit against 26 public officials should be joined with the main case of Dink murder and tried by 14th High Penal Court. After this decision, the first trials will be held on April 19, 20 and 21. 

At the hearing, 26 suspects, including the current Chief of Security General Directorate Intelligence Branch Engin Dinç, former Istanbul Provincial Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah, former Chief of Security General Directorate Intelligence Branch Ramazan Akyürek, former İstanbul Intelligence Branch Director Ali Fuat Yılmazer, former Chief of Istanbul Police Directorate Intelligence Branch Ahmet İlhan Güler, former Trabzon Provincial Police Chief Reşat Altay and former Istanbul Intelligence Branch Chief Sabri Uzun will stand trial. Before the trial, we talked to Dink family's lawyer Hakan Bakırcıoğlu about the prosecution process. 

It's been almost 10 years since Dink murder. After all this time, the most comprehensive prosecution process so far is about to start. In the next days, many public officials will stand trial for the first time. Who are these public officials? Why are they so important?

There is a chief civil inspector in the indictment. Besides, there are chiefs of Istanbul and Trabzon Intelligence Branch and Trabzon and Istanbul Provincial Police chiefs and their deputies. Except from the chief civil inspector and police chiefs, all the suspects are serving in the intelligence branches. These people are important because of their offices. 

There was an investigation process against the public officials, which resulted in the prosecution. Why was this process is important? Is the extent of the investigation sufficient?

Since 2007, as the intervening party, we have been saying that the upper stages of the organization that assassinated Hrant Dink haven't been revealed and there is no indictment against the public officials who are responsible for the murder or who acted as accomplice. 

The indictment that was prepared by the investigating prosecutor made trying some of the public officials possible. The perpetrators from the upper stages of the crime organization won't be tried for now. 

Majority of the public officials, who are in the position of suspect now, are charged with “premeditated murder” or “assisting premeditated murder by omission”. This indictment is important, since it includes the officials from Istanbul and Trabzon Intelligence Branch and Istanbul and Trabzon Police Directorate and they will be tried with the charge of premeditated murder. 

However, there are other public officials who are responsible for the murder and there is no investigation against them, though we demanded it. And decision of non-prosecution was taken for some other public officials. So, these facts should be noted as the serious deficiencies of the investigation. 

Apart from the investigation that was included in the case, there is another ongoing investigation. You said that “the upper stages of the crime organization” haven't been revealed yet. In the investigation file, there are officials from the gendermarie. What else do we know about this file? How will the investigation proceed?

Investigating and prosecuting the public officials who haven't prevented the murder is very important. Though the indictment has serious deficiencies, it dealt with this aspect of the murder. 

And it is obvious that the investigation against the upper stages of the organization that committed the crime is really important. In Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, there is an investigation file against the crime organization, which is still in the process. 

There is a note, which was written by Istanbul Deputy Public Prosecutor, addressed to the investigating prosecutor. In this note, it is stated that officials from Trabzon and Istanbul Gendermarie had been following and assisting Ogün Samast and there is strong evidences showing that they acted as part of some sort of an organization. It's been 5 months since this note was sent. Prosecutor Gökalp Gökçü, who had been conducting the investigation, is reassigned. Important information about the organization is obtained since then, but the investigation isn't completed yet. Deputy Chief Prosecutor İrfan Fidan is assigned to the investigation, which should be concluded immediately. 

Case file revealed many confidential correspondences between the state institutions. Given such files, how can the process that led to the murder be described?

In the initial stages of the investigation, it was revealed that officials from Trabzon Police Directorate reported the information about Dink murder to Istanbul Police Directorate and Intelligence Branch on February17, 2006 and officials from Trabzon Gendermarie knew that the murder weapon is a handmade gun even before finding it. 

In investigations and trails, many reports and documents are revealed. 

It is revealed that Intelligence Office of Turkey (MİT), which claimed that they have no file about Hrant Dink, had been following Agos. And we also found out that MİT, after the murder, had been following the hearings and reported them with the title of “Separatist Activities”. Also, it is revealed that Istanbul Police Directorate and Intelligence Branch had been following Hrant Dink and has a file about him since '70s. 

We also found out that, already on March 2004, Istanbul Police Directorate had information about the plans of murdering Hrant Dink. 

Those are just a few of the documents and information that are revealed and they showed that the security and intelligence authorities of the state knew that Hrant Dink will be killed and did nothing about it. 


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Uygar Gültekin