ISTANBUL (A.W.)—Two Trabzon police officers, Özkan Mumcu and Muhitten Zenit, were arrested on Tues. Jan. 13 and are being charged with negligence in the 2007 assassination of Agos Editor Hrant Dink, reported Turkish sources. Both officers were part of the Trabzon branch of the Turkish National Police during the events and were present during the investigation of the murder. The two officers also provided testimonies for prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü during the investigation. The prosecutor referred them to the court for an arrest, but Mumcu and Zenit were later released by the Istanbul 5th Criminal Judge.
Prosecutor Kökçü filed an appeal protesting the court’s decision to release the officers and the Istanbul 6th Criminal Judge issued a warrant for Zenit and Mumcu’s arrest. Kökçü said that both Mumcu and Zenit were guilty of negligence and misusing their authority which resulted in Dink’s death. What’s more, tape recordings of a phone conversation between Zenit and Erhan Tuncel, who was working as an informant for Trabzon Police department at the time and was later accused of initiating the events that led to Dink’s death, were leaked to the media. The conversation suggests that Zenit knew about the plot to assassinate Dink.
In 2012, 19 suspects were acquitted of charges of being members of a terrorist organization that plotted Dink’s murder. Another suspect, Yasin Hayal, received a life sentence on charges of instigating the premeditated murder.
The Dink family and human rights organizations condemned the 2012 ruling. The Dink family lawyers say the murder was a planned act.
In 2011, an Istanbul court sentenced Ogun Samast, a 17-year-old Turkish ultra-nationalist, to 22 years and 10 months in prison for killing Dink in front of the Agos newspaper building. Samast was prosecuted as a minor, and received a lenient sentence for his crime.
In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ordered the Turkish government to pay compensation to the Dink family, after a ruling found the state guilty of failing to protect the murdered journalist.
An earlier version of this article erroneously identified the two police officers as being “Istanbul police officers.” They are in fact from the Trabzon branch of the Turkish National Police.