Dink’s murderer tells court he won’t testify unless transferred to better prison

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Assailant of journalist Hrant Dink, Ogun Samast (C), is escorted by policemen at a juvenile court in Istanbul, 24 January 2007 as he was 17-at that time. Ogun Samast, an unemployed secondary school graduate from the northern city of Trabzon confessed shooting Dink, 52, investigators said.

Ogün Samast, the convicted murderer of Turkish-Armenian journalist and Agos weekly’s Editor-in-Chief Hrant Dink, said in a petition to a prosecutor that he will not testify or attend hearings against former police chiefs unless he is transferred to an open prison which has better conditions than closed facilities.

In a petition to the İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court on Friday, Samast said his recent request to İstanbul Public Prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü for his transfer to an open prison was rejected because Kökçü believed his life might be in danger there due to his latest testimony against former police chiefs.

On Nov. 14 Samast said in a petition to the İstanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office that he told prosecutor Kökçü what he knew about former police intelligence chiefs who were detained over links to Dink’s murder. He requested Kökçü transfer him to an open prison.

After murdering Dink in front of his office in İstanbul’s Şişli district on Jan. 29, 2007, Samast was caught, tried and sentenced to 22 years, 10 months in prison by the 2nd Juvenile High Criminal Court on charges of “intentional murder” and “possessing an unregistered firearm.” The Supreme Court of Appeals upheld Samast’s sentence in March 2012.

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