ISTANBUL — A retired Turkish gendarmerie intelligence officer, allegedly involved in the murder of Istanbul-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007, has been murdered in the Black Sea province of Düzce, Hurriet daily reports.

Former intelligence officer Seref Ates was released from prison in December 2017 after being arrested as part of the case into the murder of the journalist.

The prosecutor’s office had claimed that Ates was in contact with people who had been scouting around Dink’s home and publishing house for the planning and implementation of his murder.

He was targeted by an armed attack while driving his car in the Çavuslar neighborhood on March 11, according to reports.

The emergency teams dispatched to the scene determined that Ates had been shot dead and found body drenched in blood in his car.

The car belonging to the suspects reported by the residents was detected by the security forces a few hours after the assassination.

While the three people in the vehicle were taken into custody, the vehicle was taken to the Düzce Police Department for examination.

Dink, the editor-in-chief of the Istanbul-based Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, was shot dead at the age of 52 in broad daylight by an ultranationalist outside his office in central Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007.

Ogün Samast, then a 17-year-old jobless high-school dropout, confessed to the killing and was sentenced to almost 23 years in jail back in 2011.

The case grew into a wider scandal after it emerged that security forces had been aware of a plot to kill Dink but failed to act.

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