Greek court approves extradition of three Turkish coup-plotting soldiers
ATHENSA Greek appeals court on Dec. 6 decided to extradite three of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to the country after the July 15 failed coup attempt, a day after refusing to extradite three others, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The Athens Council of Appeals judges found Ankara’s extradition request for three captains justified on charges of attempting to overthrow the state, attempting to impede a parliamentary session and the seizure of a helicopter, the agency said.
The soldiers are expected to appeal the decision.
At the same time, the court rejected the charge of their involvement in an assassination attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was holidaying in the southern resort of Marmaris on the night of the coup attempt, The Associated Press has reported.
In addition, the Athens Council of Appeals will make its decision on the extradition of the remaining two soldiers on Dec. 8.
Speaking to Hürriyet, Zeki Arıtürk, a lawyer registered to the Istanbul Bar Association, said he evaluated the court decision as a “political maneuver.”
The same court on Dec. 5 reject Turkey’s demands that three other soldiers be extradited on the grounds that their lives would be in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, there was a possibility that the chief prosecutor at the Court of Appeals objected to the Dec. 5 court’s refusal to extradite the three soldiers, private broadcaster CNN Türk has reported.
Accordingly, the case of the three soldiers might be addressed again at an upper court at the Supreme Court within eight days, the channel said.
The soldiers, including two majors, flew their helicopters to Greece’s Alexandroupolis on July 16, prompting the Greek authorities to begin legal and diplomatic processes on charges of illegal entry into the country.
In late July, a local Greek court sentenced the eight soldiers to two-month suspended prison terms for illegally entering the country.
Greece’s political asylum commission, meanwhile, rejected the asylum application of seven of the soldiers, leaving just one more soldier to be reviewed for the process.