Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The young man who confessed to Hrant Dink murder to be tried in juvenile court

26 October 2010

Ogün Samast was 17 at the time of the murder and therefore should be tried in juvenile court, says judge

Ogün Samast, the man who confessed to the murder of journalist and writer Hrant Dink, will be tried in juvenile court. The reason of this decision is the fact that Samast was a minor at the time of the crime after he confessed to the murder. Director of Armenian paper Agos, Hrant Dink, was killed in January 2007. He was shot at close range on the street, just after he left his office in Istanbul.

At the 15th hearing of the Dink trial at the 14th High Criminal Court on Monday, the young man's defense lawyer, Levent Yıldırım, confirmed that he had requested that court on Oct. 21 allow Samast to be tried in juvenile court since he was a minor, 17-years old, at the time of the incident. Yıldırım, who referred to the “Law of Amendment to the Counter-terrorism Law” asked for a transfer to juvenile court for his client.

Güray Dağ, a co-plaintiff attorney for the Dink family, said that Samast should be tried with the other suspects in the same court. But the court has accepted Yıldırım’s request. The presiding judge decided that according to the new TMK, the current court lacks of subject-matter jurisdiction.

Hosrof Dink, Hrant Dink’s brother, reacted to the presiding judge’s verdict by saying that justice is not being served.

Dink was the director of the bilingual, Armenian and Turkish, Agos weekly until he was killed on Jan. 19, 2007. Lawyers representing the Dink family have long alleged that the murder was the doing of Ergenekon, a clandestine group charged with plotting to overthrow the government.