ISTANBUL—A court here on Thursday ordered the release of four suspects in the Hrant Dink murder case, reported the Anadolu news agency.
Istanbul’s 14th Criminal Court said former lieutenant colonel Atilla Gucluoglu, former captain Murat Bayrak and non-commissioned officers Birol Ustaoglu and Yuksel Avan were free to go.
The court said the four men were being released due to “contradictory statements” given by Ogun Samast, who was convicted of shooting the journalist on an Istanbul street in January 2007 and is serving a jail sentence.
According to Hurriyet Daily News, two of the gendarmerie officers who posed for a photo with Samast while holding a Turkish flag were among those released.
The 44-second video of Samast holding a Turkish flag with police and gendarmerie officers in the Samsun police headquarters emerged shortly after he was detained in the wake of the murder.
Dink, editor-in-chief of the Armenian newspaper Agos, was killed outside his office in a case that has stirred intrigue and conspiracy theories.
Samast was sentenced to jail for 23 years in 2011 for the killing. Samast, who was aged 17 at the time of the murder, claimed he shot Dink for “insulting Turkishness.” Although Samast is the only person to be jailed for the murder so far, speculation about the involvement of others has persisted.