Turkey: Court orders release of suspect in Dink case

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An Istanbul court on Thursday ordered the release of a suspect in the 2007 murder of Hrant Dink, a prominent Armenian-Turkish journalist.

Istanbul’s 14th Criminal Court said Sukru Yildiz, who served as civil inspector in 2007, was free to go.

Eight others are still in jail awaiting trial.

Other suspects in the case include Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) leader Fetullah Gulen, former FETO-linked prosecutor Zekeriya Oz, former Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli, and journalists Adem Yavuz Arslan, Faruk Mercan, and Ercan Gun.

They are all charged with intentional killing and attempting to upend the constitutional order.

Dink, editor-in-chief of Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos, was killed outside his office on Jan. 19, 2007.

In 2011, Ogun Samast was sentenced to 23 years in prison for the killing. Samast, who was 17 years old in early 2007, claimed he killed Dink for “insulting Turkishness”.

Although Samast is the only person to be jailed for the murder, speculation on the involvement of others has persisted.

Last year, FETO — which plotted the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 – was officially tied to the case.

A 120-page indictment said soldiers and police involved in the Dink murder later played an active role in the coup attempt.

The next hearings are set to start on July 10.

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