BBP officials questioned over Dink assassination

Four right-wing politicians on Monday were transported to Ýstanbul from the Black Sea port of Trabzon for interrogation in connection with the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

BBP officials questioned over Dink assassination

Four right-wing politicians on Monday were transported toÝstanbul from the Black Sea port of Trabzon forinterrogation in connection with the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalistHrant Dink, news reports and officials said.

Trabzonpolice on Sunday detained Yaþar Cihan, head of the local branch of theconservative and nationalist Great Unity Party (BBP), and three other partyofficials, the party's leader, Muhsin Yazýcýoðlu, confirmed Monday. Cihan'sson, Bahadýr Cihan was among those detained. Two of the other suspects wereidentified as Halis Egemen, a standby member of the BBP's Central ExecutiveCommittee (MYK) and Ersin Öztürk.

Cihan senior and Egemen were detained on the grounds they had given money toone of the key suspects in the Dink murder who had served jail time for bombinga fast-food store in Trabzon prior to Dink's assassination. Shortly afterDink's killing, Cihan admitted that he had given money to one of the suspects'families but had insisted it was part of charity money he regularly donates toneedy families. The suspects were brought to Ýstanbul with their hands cuffed,news agencies reported.

Hours earlier, Patriarch Mesrob II, the spiritual head of the ArmenianOrthodox community in Turkey,had criticized authorities for failing to find those who ordered Dink'skilling. Speaking to the press in the southeastern city of Gaziantep on Monday, Yazýcýoðlu expressedthat not everyone who testified regarding the murder necessarily had any linkswith the murder. In a brief interview with the ANKA news agency, Yazýcýoðlusaid he was not clear on what grounds his party's members in Trabzon had been arrested on and declined tofurther comment due to the ongoing judicial process. The interrogation of theBBP suspects comes one week after lawyers representing the family of Dink madea press statement expressing their opinion that the integrity of the rule oflaw in Turkeywas itself on trial. The statement last week called for a more vigorouscriminal investigation into what they said was a criminal conspiracy withconnections to state institutions themselves.

"This is a political assassination and culpability does not end with theunemployed boy who pulled the trigger or his immediate accomplices in Trabzon," said BahriBelen, a legal representative of the Dink family. He was speaking in front ofthe Beþiktaþ High Criminal Court after presenting a petition to the publicprosecutor's office to widen the murder investigation. "The ability to organizean assassination in Ýstanbul all points to a wider and more determinedorganization," he said.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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