- Title: Greek court decides to extradite three Turkish soldiers
- Date: 6th December 2016
- Summary: ALEXANDROUPOLIS, GREECE (JULY 21, 2016) (REUTERS) GREEK POLICE OFFICER LEADING A HANDCUFFED TURKISH SOLDIER WITH HIS HEAD COVERED TO COURT PAST MEDIA AND POLICE/ PRO-ERDOGAN PROTESTER HOLDING TURKISH FLAG AND SHOUTING/ ANOTHER HANDCUFFED SOLDIER WITH HIS HEAD COVERED BEING LED TOWARDS COURT GREEK POLICE OFFICER LEADING HANDCUFFED SOLDIER WITH HIS HEAD COVERED /ANOTHER HANDCUFFED SOLDIER BEING LED TO COURT VARIOUS OF POLICE LEADING HANDCUFFED TURKISH SOLDIERS WITH THEIR HEADS COVERED VARIOUS OF POLICE AND HANDCUFFED SOLDIERS ENTERING COURT
- Embargoed: 21st December 2016 15:54
- Keywords: Turkey Greece soldiers extradition coup Erdogan
- Location: ATHENS AND ALEXANDROUPOLIS, GREECE
- City: ATHENS AND ALEXANDROUPOLIS, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Reuters ID: LVA0025BQXA9Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A Greek court decided on Tuesday (December 6) to extradite three Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece after a failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan in July, one of their lawyers said.
The three pilots were among a group of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to northern Greece in a helicopter and sought political asylum, saying they feared for their lives in Turkey.
The court ruled that the three pilots should be returned to Turkey to stand trial for three of the four crimes they are accused of, but not for attempting to kill Erdogan, lawyer Stavroula Tomara told Reuters.
"Unfortunately they feel very tired, psychologically they are feeling depressed," said Tomara after the decision. "They don't think they should be held in custody (also), as this affects their psychology. Some of them are on the verge of giving up hope."
The pilots have appealed the ruling at the country's top court, she said.
On Monday (December 5) the same Greek court ruled that three of the other Turkish soldiers should not be returned to Turkey, although a prosecutor has now filed an appeal against that decision.
"I am not afraid of this, not at all," said Tomara of the prosecutors appeal. "I believe that yesterday we had the best defense, we did our best, and I think we will be justified at the next level as well. We don't have anything to be afraid of," said Tomara.
Turkey alleges the soldiers were involved in the July 15 coup attempt and has called them traitors. They all deny involvement in the attempt to dislodge Erdogan from power that led to a purge within the country's military and civil service.
Tomara said that they all fear they will be killed once back on Turkish soil.
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