ISTANBUL (Armenpress)–Turkey’s Bilecik Provincial Gendarmerie Commander Col. Ali Oz has been relieved of duty in the wake of allegations that he had prior warning of a plot to assassinate ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.
Two gendarmes, Sergeant Major Okan S. and Specialist Sergeant Veysel G., appeared in a Trabzon court last Thursday on charges of dereliction of duty for failing to take the necessary measures to prevent the murder of Dink, who was gunned down outside the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos in early 2007.
They confirmed the earlier testimony of a witness, Copkun Yoci–the ex-husband of a relative of one of the prime suspects in the Dink murder–that they had been clearly warned about a plan to murder Dink. The two soldiers noted that they had informed their superior, Oz, of the plot. They also testified that they had previously given false statemen’s during the course of the investigation after being pressured to do so by Oz.
Following the testimonies by the two soldiers, a criminal complaint was filed against Oz for abusing his authority and failing to take the necessary actions to prevent the assassination of Dink. He was removed from his position yesterday and sent to the Bursa Regional Command.