Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit Reporters Without Borders shares the view of the family of the murdered newspaper editor Hrant Dink that it is premature for the prosecution to conclude its case in the trial of his accused murderers. Dink’s family and its lawyers walked out of the Istanbul courtroom in protest when prosecutor Hikmet Usta began reading his 86-page summing-up during the 20th hearing on 19 September.“We have always said that the slowness with which this trial was proceeding was unbearable, but hastily concluding the prosecution case will not help the truth to emerge,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Many aspects of this case still need to be clarified. It is vital that the judicial system should complete its work before issuing its decision.“Closing the case now would just reward the ill will displayed by the many government officials who either stalled when asked by the court to provide information or deliberately destroyed evidence and are thereby responsible for many of the gaps in the prosecution’s case.”Dink family lawyer Fethiye Cetin said: “It is entirely premature to talk of summing up, inasmuch as essential elements in the case are missing.”Important witnesses such as Ergün Cagatay and police informer Sinan Rasitoglu have still not been located by the judicial authorities. Despite a recent court decision making it obligatory, the High Council for Telecommunications (TIB) has still not provided the court with a register of the phone calls made in the area where Dink was shot dead, the Istanbul district of Sisli, at the time of his murder on 19 January 2007.As a result, investigators have still not been able to trace the phone calls that a suspect – seen in the area on surveillance cameras – made just before and after the murder. Also the two individuals accompanying convicted killer Ogün Samast on the street in Sisli when he gunned Dink down have still not been identified. And it has not been possible to restore some surveillance camera recordings that were deleted by the Istanbul anti-terrorist department.The prosecutor assured the Dink family that all available evidence had already been presented and that he would therefore be able to present the summing-up that he had prepared nearly a year ago.He requested life sentences for the two alleged masterminds, Yasin Hayal and Erhan Tuncel, accusing them of “premeditated murder” and of “running the cell of the terrorist organization Ergenekon in Trabzon,” the Black Sea city where they and Samast, the convicted shooter, lived. He also requested life sentences for five other defendants (currently not in detention) for “complicity in murder” and “membership of a terrorist organization,” sentences ranging from 3 to 19 years for other defendants, and the acquittal of seven others.In his summing-up, the prosecutor linked the Dink murder to the 2004 bombing of a McDonald’s in Trabzon and plans to attack Nobel literature laureate Orhan Pamuk, the journalist Hincal Uluç and a Christian missionary in Istanbul, all of which he attributed to Tuncel and Hayal.The summing-up portrayed Dink’s murder as political and ideological assassination that was just one element in a supposedly vast destabilization plan by an alleged ultranationalist underground network known as Ergenekon. This network, which allegedly included senior military officers and civilian officials opposed to the present government, is at the centre of a series of cases that are currently polarizing Turkish politics.While taking note of this theory, which is now being heavily exploited by the Turkish authorities, Reporters Without Borders points out that it got some of its original proponents into a lot of trouble. The journalists Nedim Sener and Kemal Göktas, in particular, were tried several times for drawing attention to the role in Dink’s murder that officials within the state and the judicial system played.“It is an advance that the ultranationalist networks within the state apparatus are being explicitly linked to the Dink case, but this must be pursued to the end,” Reporters Without Borders said. “By limiting the search for masterminds to the Hayal and Tuncel level, the judicial authorities seem to be protecting more highly placed suspects. What happened to the investigation into 30 senior officials that was launched last February after the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Turkey?”Fully solving the Dink murder case is essential in order to show that the Ergenekon affair is not just being used by the government in order to purge the state administration of officials who are radical secularists and Kemalists – adherents of the ideology of the Turkish republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.Dink’s murder shocked public opinion, which began to distance itself from the most radical forms of Kemalist nationalism. It is now up to the judicial system to show that it has not been left behind by this major social change, and that it is ready to contribute to a thorough overhaul of the Turkish state. Unfortunately, the prosecutor’s summing up suggested the contrary. The target of the Dink murder, he said, was “public order in the Turkish republic, the state’s authority and the state’s indivisible unity with the nation.”A Turkish-Armenian journalist who edited the newspaper Agos, Dink supported reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and was a critic of Kemalist dogma. Samast, the youth who shot him outside the newspaper on 19 January 2007, was tried before a different court from the 18 other defendants on the grounds that he was a minor at the time. Sentenced to 23 years in prison on 25 July for the Dink murder, he is also being tried on a separate charge of belonging to an illegal organization.The members of the Trabzon gendarmerie who had prior knowledge of the Dink murder plot and did nothing to stop it were also tried separately and were sentenced on 2 June to sentences ranging from four to six months in prison. News Follow the news on Turkey to go further TurkeyEurope – Central Asia April 2, 2021 Find out more Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor September 22, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Alarm over premature closure of prosecution case in Dink murder trial Receive email alerts April 28, 2021 Find out more TurkeyEurope – Central Asia News RSF_en Organisation News April 2, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law read more
RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Advertisement NewsCrime & CourtLimerickTusla in the dock over paedophile ring inquiryBy Staff Reporter – March 28, 2018 10290 Email TAGSChild Welfare ConsultantDr Geoffrey ShannonMinister Katherine Zapponeretired Chief Superintendent Pádraig KennedySuzanne PhelanTusla Previous articleCrisis pending as Limerick family doctors face retirementNext articleCouncil collects €53 million in commercial rates Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie WhatsApp Twitter Facebook Linkedin Print Minister for Children Katherine ZapponeTHREE special investigators have been appointed by Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone to examine the circumstances surrounding the State involvement in a child sex abuse scandal, the Limerick Post can reveal.The review will be carried out by a panel of three experts. It will be Chaired by Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Dr Geoffrey Shannon, and include Suzanne Phelan, Child Welfare Consultant, and retired Chief Superintendent Pádraig Kennedy nominated by the Minister for Justice and Equality.The investigation is understood to be centring around the involvement of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, in its handling of victims at the centre of a suspected Mid West child exploitation scandal that came to light last year.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Upwards of 15 children, across an extended family network, are believed to be the victims of the some of the most horrific paedophilic abuse, neglect and exploitation in the history of the State.Earlier this month, 11 people, including six women, were arrested as part of a wider Garda investigation but they were all released without charge as Gardaí continue their probe into the shocking details that emerged from the interviews.Some of the children were found to be in such a state of neglect that emergency treatment and extensive medical care was required. All the suspected victims are now the subject of court orders for the State to provide them with statutory care under the Children’s Act.In the days after the arrests were made, the matter was raised in the Dáil by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin who said that the matter was “deeply shocking” and raised the prospect of an inquiry to determine that every measure was taken at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure the safety of the children involved.The Limerick Post understands that the special investigator appointed by Minister Zappone’s office will concentrate on Tusla’s involvement in the cases from when the allegations first emerged.On Wednesday night, Minister Zappone said: “There have been some media reports and public comments about a complex and unusual case of severe neglect and alleged child sexual abuse. Tusla, the Child and Family Agency and An Garda Síochána have been closely involved. Other State bodies have also been involved to some extent.“I, along with my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality, have been briefed extensively on this case. We have agreed that while there is no evidence of any serious mishandling of the case by either Tusla or An Garda Síochána, due to the complexity of the current case it would be good practice to arrange for a short, focused independent ‘Serious Incident’ review of the actions to date.“The independent ‘Serious Incident’ review will examine the management of the case including the inter-agency activity and co-operation which primarily involved Tusla and An Garda Síochána. The primary purpose of the review is to ensure that any learning which may arise is captured at the earliest possible opportunity and informs future work.“I am assured that all the children identified as victims of this abuse have been taken into care. No specific details of the case can be discussed and I am conscious that it is illegal under the Child Care Act, 1991, to publish information that could lead to the identification of a child in care.”Both Ministers are conscious that it will be important to ensure that this non-statutory review does not risk prejudicing the on-going investigation and criminal prosecution. With this in mind, the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Dr Geoffrey Shannon will assist with drafting the terms of reference. The Terms of Reference will be subject to the receipt of advice by the Attorney General’s Office before they are finalised.It is intended that the review will be completed as soon as possible after terms of reference have been agreed. The Review Team will submit a report to the Ministers for Children and Youth Affairs and Justice and Equality. A further update will be provided to the Cabinet at that stage. Publication of the review will be considered in due course and will be subject to legal advice.See more Limerick news here Time for reparation read more
Photo © Pixabay St Michael’s are through to the last four of the Munster Champions Cup – the Tipp Town outfit saw off Waterford Hibs 4-1.Thurles town and Rosegreen Rangers are in action this morning in the third round of the FAI Junior Cup.And in another third round game BT Harps take on Borroway Rovers at 11.30amIn the NTDL Premier Division Roscrea’s Killavilla Utd take on Cloughjordan Fc at 7.30pm Meanwhile in the TSDL the 2nd Division Shield Final features Clonmel Town B against Wilderness Rovers.That game gets underway at 12 noon.Later this afternoon in the Division 1 Shield Semi final Vee Rovers take on Cullen Lattin at 2:30pm.