June 19
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ISTANBUL. – Istanbul prosecutor Hikmet Usta applied to the Court of Appeals with a request to overturn the court ruling on the murder trial of Hrant Dink—the founder and former chief editor of Istanbul’s Agos Armenian bilingual weekly, who was gunned down in 2007 in front of his office building.  

Usta’s formal petition in this regard severely criticized the court’s verdict, Radikal daily of Turkey informs.

After the ruling on Dink’s murder case, Hikmet Usta had stated that the court’s decision—according to which there was no criminal structure and relevant evidence—was a lie, and argued that the court had reached wrong decisions and also released Erhan Tuncel, one of the main suspects in Dink’s murder case.  

On January 17, the Turkish court found Yasin Hayal guilty of planning and organizing Hrant Dink’s murder, and sentenced him to life in prison. Erhan Tuncel, on the other hand, was found not guilty of prompting Dink’s murder, and, instead, he was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months for an explosion in a McDonald’s restaurant. But taking into account that Tuncel was already incarcerated for that amount of time, the court ruled his release.

The court also found the nineteen defendants not guilty of being members of a terrorist organization. In its turn, the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office announced that upon receiving the grounds for the court verdict, it will appeal the ruling. And earlier, Hrant Dink’s actual killer, Ogun Samast, was sentenced to a total of 22 years and 10 months for Dink’s murder and for bearing illegal arms. But Samast was tried at a juvenile court, since he was a minor at the time of the murder.

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