Monday, January 23, 2017

Greek court postpones extradition request for 8 Turkish servicemen

Greece's Supreme Court postponed on Monday a ruling on the extradition request for eight Turkish servicemen to Thursday, the Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

Earlier in January, it was announced that the Court would decide on Monday on the fate of the eight Turkish military officers who fled to Greece by helicopter a day after July's failed coup in the neighboring country.

On Monday, the judges said they needed more time to examine the facts of the case.

Ankara accuses the officers of taking part in the attempted coup d'etat, but they all deny any involvement in the July 15 coup attempt, claiming that they fled for fear of their lives during the turmoil.

During the marathon judicial process, the defendants insisted on their innocence and expressed fear for their safety should they be extradited back to Turkey.

If the Supreme Court rules against the extradition, the verdict will be considered as final and cannot be challenged. In case the court upholds Ankara's request, the final decision rests with Greek Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis.

In December appeal courts reached mixed verdicts, while during January's hearings before the Supreme Court all three prosecutors argued against the extradition, citing concern that the eight will not have a fair trial in Turkey.

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