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16 volunteers of migrant-aid NGO ERCI found innocent of spying

Sixteen members of the ERCI nonprofit organization who volunteered during the apex of the refugee-migration crisis on Lesvos island in 2018 were found innocent of spying charges by a misdemeanors appeals court of the North Aegean on Tuesday.

The 16 were accused of forming a criminal organization, spying, and migrant trafficking from Turkey to Greek territory.

In the process, the charges changed to spying at misdemeanor level. The charge of forming a criminal organization will be tried at a criminal court.

According to the misdemeanors appeals court in Mytilini, there were no facts in their testimonies proving the charge of spying, and the prosecutor concurred.

Former operations management for ERCI Nassos Karakitsos, who was detained for nearly 3.5 months before being released on bail, commented on Tuesday’s decision, “We are innocent, and so are the thousands of volunteers who came through the islands saving human lives.”

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