Turkey arrests two police over Armenian journalist murder

It is the first time state officals have been charged over the journalist’s assasination

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Turkey on Tuesday arrested two police officers for failing to prevent the 2007 murder of an ethnic Armenian journalist, local media reported.

Ozkan Mumcu and Muhittin Zenit have been charged with “negligence” for failing to act on intelligence and prevent the murder of Hrant Dink and of failing to carry out an effective probe.

They also face charges of “causing death by negligence” and “abuse of power,” the Dogan news agency reported.

It is the first time state officals have been charged over the journalist’s assasination.

Dink was shot dead in broad daylight by a teenage ultranationalist outside the offices of his bilingual Agos newspaper, sending shockwaves through Turkey.

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

The murder grew into a wider scandal after it emerged that the security forces knew of a plot to kill Dink, but failed to act.

Turkey’s top court in July ruled that the investigation into the killing had been flawed, paving the way for the trial of state officials who could be implicated in the murder.

Seven other officials, including the then Istanbul police chief, are currently on trial on charges of negligence.

Dink, 52, had campaigned for reconciliation between Turks and Armenians, but incurred the wrath of Turkish nationalists for calling the mass killings of Armenians during World War I a genocide.

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