Creating new perspectives since 2009

Turkish court issues arrest warrant for senior police officers over journalist's death

January 17, 2015 at 2:30 pm

The Magistrates’ and Penalty Court in Istanbul has issued arrest warrants for two senior police officers in connection with the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Anadolu reported on Friday that the warrants allege that the officers “did not take the necessary precautions” to prevent Dink’s assassination.

Former Police Chief Özkan Mumcu and Officer Muhittin Zenit face arrest and trial. The court said that the accused had had prior knowledge of the assassination plan and had not acted to take the necessary precautions to stop it.

Mumcu and Zenit provided statements to Investigating Prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü on December 26. The magistrate imposed a ban on Mumcu and Zenit leaving the country and discharged them. However, Kökçü appealed against the decision and requested new arrest warrants. It is expected that both of the accused will be remanded in prison when they are arrested.

Judge Fevzi Keleş said that there were records of Zenit’s phone calls to murder suspect Erhan Tuncel, and that he was aware that the assassination would take place.

Dink was assassinated in January 19, 2007 in front of his office. It is believed that he was killed because his newspaper used the term “genocide” to refer to the massacre of Armenians in 1915 by the Ottoman authorities. Turkey refuses to accept that the killings were on such a scale to warrant the term genocide.