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A court hearing on the case into the murder of Istanbul Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was convened Thursday in Istanbul.

At the hearing, Ramazan Akyürek, former head of Intelligence Department at the General Directorate of Security, testified via live telecast, according to Cumhuriyet newspaper of Turkey.

He stated that after learning about the plotting of an assassination of Dink, the duty to follow and protect him had fallen upon the Trabzon police chief, and not him.  

Akyürek demanded that he be released arguing that he had nothing to do with the murder.

Separately, the court ruled that Şükrü Yıldız, the former Civil Service Chief Inspector, be released on a signature bond to not leave the country.

Hrant Dink, the founder and chief editor of Agos Armenian weekly of Istanbul, was gunned down on January 19, 2007, outside the then office of this newspaper.

In 2011, the perpetrator, Ogün Samast, was sentenced by a juvenile court to 22 years and ten months for the murder.

After long court proceedings and appeals, however, a new probe was ultimately launched into this murder case, and regarding numerous former and serving senior Turkish officials’ complicity in this assassination.

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