Greek court rules against 3rd Turkish request to extradite 8 soldiers

A Greek appeals court rejected a Turkish demand for the handover of eight soldiers accused of having a direct role in Turkey’s July 2016 coup attempt
Friday, 16 March 2018 18:14

The Athens Court of Appeal has unanimously ruled against Turkey’s third request to return eight Turkish soldiers, saying that they would not face a fair trial in their homeland, local media said Friday.

In July 2016, eight Turkish soldiers fled to Greece on a Black Hawk helicopter after the failed coup aimed to topple Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Ankara’s extradition request is filed on the basis of eight charges the soldiers face in their country, including participation in the coup and an armed terrorist group, attempted murder, military desertion, and theft of military hardware.

In their verdict, the judges said that Turkey’s charges against the soldiers were vague, and the new request had no new elements to change earlier verdicts, according to the Athens News Agency.

The court also expressed its concern that the eight soldiers would not receive a fair trial in Turkey.

In May 2017, the court ruled against the Turkish authorities' request to return two out of eight of their citizens. Earlier, it had turned down Turkey's attempt to return the other six.