ISTANBUL (Agos) — Trials of public officials, including former police chiefs Celalettin Cerrah, Engin Dinç, Ramazan Aküyrek, Ali Fuat Yilmazer, Ahmet Ilhan Güler, continued in Istanbul today.
During the previous round, arrested suspect Ali Fuat Yilmazer, former chief of the Office C of Istanbul Directorate of Security Intelligence Branch, completed his defence. In this round, cross examination of Yilmazer was carried out.
The court decided to hear 52 people as witnesses, including Muammer Güler, former Minister of Interior and the Govenor of Istanbul at the time of murder; former police chief Hanefi Avci; former police chief Recep Güven; former deputy police chief Emin Arslan; Hüseyin Yavuzdemir, the Governor of Trabzon at the time of murder; former inspector Aysegül Genç; former deputy police chief of Istanbul Hakan Aydin Türkeli; former chief of Istanbul counter-terrorism branch Selim Kutkan and journalist Nedim Sener.
Ahmet Kurt said that he worked in Office C, they received the information that Dink will be killed, but he doesn’t know what kind of works had been done.
Giving a statement as a witness, Tarkan Gökçen said that Ali Fuat Yilmazer wanted the information concerning Dink ordered after the murder and that’s when he saw the report concerning Hrant Dink. Gökçen said that he was friends with Muhittin Zenit, he called him out of curiosity, but he hadn’t talked to anybody about the incident.
Working in Intelligence Department at the time of murder, Seyfi Inan was also heard as a witness. He said that the documents concerning Dink were important and it is impossible for the branch chief not to see such important documents and information.
Yalçin Kara, a police officer working the Intelligence Department, said: “On the day of murder, I went to the Department and Yilmazer was yelling, ‘Bring the documents of the team from Trabzon.’”
Özcan Özkan said that they investigated Osman Hayal and issued a report about that investigation, but they didn’t do anything else. He said that they hadn’t seen any document.
After the witness statements were read, Yilmazer continued his defence.
Yilmazer said that Erhan Tuncel’s phone was wiretapped before the murder, but there is no record:
“Who did organize these plots in Trabzon? Either it was known that he wasn’t using that phone or someone told him not to use it. This is no joke. There cannot be such mistakes in intelligence branches. They recorded the informant who hadn’t been recorded for 2 years. Then they wrote a report, telling that they were trying to make him give up through the informant. This is an unprecedented report. Neither police nor intelligence personnel have such a duty. This is an effort for evading. There is a serious ruse.”
Yilmazer also criticized the prosecutor’s office on the ground that the prosecutor who issued the indictment concealed the evidences in favor of him.
Friends of Hrant made a statement in front of the courthouse before the hearing. Speaking on behalf of Friends of Hrant, Bülent Aydin said, “We came close to the truth, but the case is still focused on a passive branch. Clarifying the Dink murder would pave the way for clarifying other dark murders.”