- Title: Greek Supreme Court rejects extradition of eight Turkish soldiers
- Date: 26th January 2017
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (JANUARY 26, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF SUPREME COURT ENTRANCE OF COURT GREEK FLAG WAVING OVER ENTRANCE OF COURT VARIOUS OF ENTRANCE OF COURT SIGN ON BUILDING READING (Greek) 'SUPREME COURT' POLICE VAN WITH TURKISH SOLDIERS INSIDE STOPPED AT ENTRANCE AFTER ARRIVING POLICE VAN DOOR OPENING TURKISH SOLDIERS, WEARING SUITS, DISEMBARKING FROM POLICE VAN SURROUNDED BY POLICE OFFICERS/SOLDIERS WALKING TOWARDS COURTHOUSE AND ENTERING CAMERAS FILMING OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) LAWYER TO THE TURKISH SOLDIERS CHRISTOS MYLONOPOULOS, SPEAKING AFTER THE RULING, SAYING: "This was a great victory for European values and Greek justice. It was not only the life of the eight officers that was in danger, but also the dignity of the Greek court system. This is also a very important lesson for new lawyers." POLICE VAN BACKING INTO COURTHOUSE PARKING GARAGE TO PICK UP SOLDIERS AFTER RULING POLICE VAN DOOR OPEN, SURROUNDED BY POLICE, WAITING FOR TURKISH SOLDIERS TO ENTER VAN POLICE VAN WITH TURKISH SOLDIERS INSIDE LEAVING COURTHOUSE ESCORTED BY POLICE VEHICLES
- Embargoed: 9th February 2017 15:34
- Keywords: Turkey Greece coup soldiers
- Location: ATHENS, GREECE
- City: ATHENS, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA00160PWX1J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Greece's Supreme Court on Thursday (January 26) rejected the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece in July after a failed coup attempt in Turkey.
Turkey has demanded Greece extradite them, alleging they were involved in the coup attempt and has branded them as traitors.
Shortly after the ruling Turkey's foreign ministry said Greece was protecting coup plotters and failing in the fight against terrorism.
The men -- three majors, three captains and two sergeant-majors -- landed a helicopter in northern Greece a day after the July 15 coup and sought political asylum, saying they feared for their lives in Turkey. They deny playing a role in the attempt to oust President Tayyip Erdogan, which led to a purge of the military and civil service.
The court said the possibility of their rights being violated or reduced, regardless of the degree of guilt or the gravity of the crimes they are accused of, does not allow the implementation of extradition rules.
It ruled that the soldiers, who have been kept in protective custody pending final decisions on their asylum applications, must be freed. The rulings cannot be overturned.
The soldier's lawyer Christos Mylonopoulos said the verdict was "a great victory for European values".
The case has highlighted the sometimes strained relations between Greece and Turkey, neighbors and NATO allies at odds over a series of issues ranging from the divided island of Cyprus to air fights over the Aegean Sea.
The two countries play an important role in the handling of Europe's worst migration crisis in decades and the EU depends on Ankara to enforce a deal to stem mass migration to Europe.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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