Dink murder masterminded by Ergenekon – suspect

Dink murder masterminded by Ergenekon – suspect

PanARMENIAN.Net - The court hearing the Hrant Dink murder trial ruled out the involvement of an organized criminal structure in the assassination, but one of the main suspects - who was also released on Jan 18 - says the killing was the job of Ergenekon, a clandestine network whose suspected members - including generals, military officers and many civilians - are currently in jail for plotting a military takeover, Today’s Zaman reported.

Erhan Tuncel, the controversial Trabzon police informant who was sentenced to 10 years for his role in the 2004 bombing of a McDonald’s in Trabzon but was acquitted of all charges regarding the Dink murder, including the prosecutors’ claim that he was the one who gave orders to Yasin Hayal - the man who was given life for soliciting Dink’s shooter - has spoken to Today’s Zaman, stating that the court’s verdict pointing to an absence of an organized network behind the crime was wrong.

Tuncel said that “there is an organized network behind the murder,” in responding to questions e-mailed to his lawyer on Jan. 12 while he was still in jail. Tuncel was released one day after the verdict. He has been in jail for five years, meaning he has already completed the sentence he was dealt for the McDonald’s murder under provisions of the Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK).

He has been a controversial figure from the start, allegedly having known the about the plot to assassinate Dink, although the court ruling found him innocent of involvement in the murder or of being part of a crime network that planned the assassination.

Tuncel told Today’s Zaman that the murder was masterminded by Ergenekon. Tuncel said Ergenekon sought to blame the murder on the segments of society it had as its targets. He said there were many shady aspects about the role of the Trabzon Gendarmerie Command of the murder. “Of course, there is also the Col. Ali Öz factor,” he said in a four-page, handwritten letter.

Tuncel said for the murder to be solved in a true sense, “the forces supporting” Yasin Hayal - who was sentenced to life in prison for soliciting the shooter, Ogün Samast, to commit the murder - should be found out. Tuncel firmly believes that the Dink murder was part of a coup plan devised by Ergenekon. “Their plan was to take over the intelligence unit of the police force and then eliminate all those opposing the planned coup d’état. They wanted to stage this coup,” he said.

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