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EUROPE >Greek court to retry Turkish coup soldiers

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A Greek appeals court will reconsider extraditing eight fugitive Turkish soldiers who requested asylum in the country after fleeing following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, according to media reports.      

“A Greek appeals court will discuss for the second time an extradition request by Turkey for eight Turkish army officials who fled to Greece after the foiled coup attempt,” Greek news agency ANA-MPA reported late on April 19.      

Three of the servicemen - identified as Süleyman Özkaynakçı, Feridun Çoban, and Abdullah Yetik - will appear at Athens’ Appeals Council on April 25, according to the agency.    
 
The other five have not yet received a trial date, it reported.    
  
Hours after the attempted takeover that resulted in 249 deaths last year, for which Ankara blames what it calls the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, Turkish military officials fled to Greece on a Black Hawk army helicopter.

The aircraft was returned the next day but the soldiers immediately requested asylum and stayed.      

Greece’s Supreme Court on Jan. 26 rejected Turkey’s extradition request, stating that the eight men would not get a fair trial in Turkey and that their lives would be at risk if they returned. The decision triggered immediate anger from Ankara, which issued a second request the next day.

The servicemen’s asylum requests had been pending at the time of the decision for a retrial on their extradition.

April/20/2017

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