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06/21/2021 Turkey (International Christian Concern) –  The case files for thirteen fugitive defendants were merged for the ongoing Hrant Dink 2007 murder investigation. The prosecutor for the case with Istanbul’s 14th Heavy Penal Court demanded that the assets of the 13 defendants be seized, whose trial began on June 8.

The group of defendants includes Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Islamic leader who has been living in the United States for nearly two decades in self-imposed exile and faces significant criticism from Turkish President Erdogan for his role in the 2016 coup attempt. The remaining fugitive defendants are Zekeriya Öz, Ekrem Dumanlı, Metin Canbay, Yunus Yazar, Faruk Mercan, Adem Yavuz Arslan, Halil İbrahim Koca, Yılmaz Angın, Mehmet Akif Yılmaz, Ömer Faruk Kartın, Coşgun Çakar and Serkan Şahan.

Several court-order warrants and extraditions were not executed previously for the defendants but will remain in place until completed. The court decision on asset seizure was to be announced at the next hearing on June 24.

The ongoing Hrant Dink murder case has acquitted 37 people and convicted 26. Drink was assassinated in 2007 for his role of Editor-In-Chief for Agos Newspaper and was an outspoken Armenian activist.

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