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Greek Court rejects second Turkish request for extradition of 8 soldiers

A Greek court has rejected a new Turkish extradition bid for three of eight Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece by helicopter after last year’s failed military coup in Turkey.

Greece’s supreme court has already ruled that none of the eight men should be extradited as they wouldn’t get a fair trial in Turkey, and that their lives might be in danger there.

The decision has prompted anger from Turkey.

Authorities in Ankara issued a new request accusing the soldiers for theft and damage of a helicopter of the Turkish Air Force. The eight servicemen had landed in Greece on a Black Hawk helicopter on July 16th 2016. The helicopter was returned to Turkey a couple of days later.

Ruling on the new Turkish request Tuesday, the Athens court accepted a prosecutor’s recommendation that no significant new evidence against them had been produced.

The prosecutor said that the new extradition request was just a ‘pretext’. She also stressed that all the assurances Turkey gave for fair trial, contact with international human rights organizations etc were the same as submitted in its first extradition request. They were found as not sufficient by the Greek Supreme Court dismissed the Turkish request end January 2017.

The court will meet again next week to discuss whether to extradite the other five Turks, in accordance with the new request.

All eight pilots and flight engineers have requested asylum in Greece.

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