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Greek Court Rejected Extradition of 3 Turkish Soldiers

By Ela Gonca İzmirli

A Greek Court rejected the extradition of three Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece after the failed coup attempt of July 15th in Turkey. There were total of 8 Turkish soldiers fled to Greece immediately after the coup failed with a helicopter -three majors, three captains and two sergeant-majors- on July 16 to seek asylum claiming fear for their lives in Turkey.

The Turkish government started a purge of the military and civil service following the coup attempt and detained thousands of soldiers, including almost half of its generals.  In January Greece’s Supreme Court ruled not to extradite any of the eight servicemen to Turkey, citing the Court’s worries about a fair trial in Turkey and their security. Ankara then filed a second request.

The Greek court today accepted the prosecutor’s recommendation that no significant new evidence against the servicemen has been produced. The court also asked for the release of the men from custody. The decision has prompted anger from Turkey.

Prosecutor of the trial Ms. Rania Stathaki stated that the case had already been decided by the Supreme Court’s previous decision.

The court will meet May 3rd and 4th again to discuss the extradition of the remaining five soldiers.

This decision prompted anger from the Turkish government and further strained the bilateral relations. The Turkish officials previously have threatened Greece with scrapping the migration deal if the soldiers were not sent back.

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