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Turkey6 June 2008

Security camera footage ignored by police shows editor’s killer had accomplices

NTV and other Turkish media have for the past four days been airing footage of the surveillance cameras of a bank and a shop near the Istanbul-based weekly Agos that was recorded on 19 January 2007, the day the newspaper’s editor, Hrant Dink, was gunned down outside.

The footage shows other people with the alleged killer, Ogün Samast, and proves that the Dink family’s lawyers were right to criticise the police for not using it in their investigation.

“A year and a half after Dink’s murder, we finally have proof that the investigation neglected some of the participants, who are still at large,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The way this case was handled by the police and judicial authorities shows a lack of will to expose the entire network involved in this murder. This constitutes gross negligence. We hope this new evidence will be used to relaunch the investigation.”

The security camera recordings show the comings and goings of the suspects during the hours preceding Dink’s murder.

Samast, the youth who allegedly shot Dink, appears for the first time in the footage at 12:53 on 19 January 2007. He is seen again, walking not very far away from the Agos office.

Dink is seen at 14:40, when he goes to the bank located 10 metres away from the newspaper. After getting a numbered ticked for the queue to see one of the bank clerks, he emerges from the bank in order to wait outside.

A man with his back to Dink turns to see what is happening behind him at 14:53 and 12 seconds. He continues to do this at regular intervals. He disappears from the frame for an instant, then returns, takes up position in front of the bank and makes a call with his mobile phone.

Dink returns and goes into the bank at 14:53 and 51 seconds. The man shuts his mobile phone and walks away. Dink reemerges from the bank about four minutes later.

The cameras turn towards the Agos building at 14:57 and 44 seconds. Less than two minutes later, at 14:59 and 14 seconds, Samast is seen fleeing down Safak street after shooting Dink. He is followed by two men, including the one who was seen earlier in the bank footage. They look at Samast and then disappear into a building under construction.

The police questioned most of the people who were at the scene of the murder. The person in charge of the building site said at the time that the two men were not part of his team of employees. They still have not been identified.

The next hearing in the trial of Dink’s alleged killers before an Istanbul court of assizes is scheduled for 7 July.

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