A Greek court ruled on Thursday that the last two Turkish officers should not be extradited to Turkey. The Appeals Council accepted the suggestion of the prosecutor. Furthermore the court decided to lift the detention order for these two officers.
For the remaining six Turkish officers, the Appeal Council had decided differently depending on its composition: three of them should not be extradited, three of them should be. The Supreme Court will take the final decision.
The eight officers had fled Turkey on a Black Hawk helicopter one day after the failed coup of July 15th 2016. Turkey has officially requested their extradition claiming the 8 officers were coup plotters. All of them had requested asylum in Greece.
Following the court decision on Thursday, the Turkish officers thanked the Greek justice.
“We are very pleased with today’s decision, which proves that Greece is a country that respects human rights and European values. Do not forget that we are at the place that gave birth to the concept of asylum, as rightly said by the prosecutor today . We are confident that in the end justice will prevail. We and our families thank all Greek citizens for the sympathy and support,” eight Turkish officers said in a joint statement.
Earlier, public prosecutor Giorgos Voulgaris suggested the rejection of Turkey’s extradition request stressing based on recent denouncements by Amnesty International and other international organizations “extradition would mean inhumane torture, while the possibility to reintroduce the death penatly even retroactively is still open.”
“Listening to your conscience and reject the Turkish request, ” Voulgaris told the judges urging them at the same time to not take into consideration possible diplomatic impact of their decision.
For the last 200 years, Greece is neither a district nor a province of the Ottoman Empire,” Voulgaris stressed adding “We belong to Europe, we defend democracy, human rights and a fair trial.”