Greek prosecutor argues against Turkish coup soldiers’ extradition
ATHENS – Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoA Greek supreme court prosecutor on Jan. 11 argued against extraditing two Turkish officers over July’s failed coup, in the second of three such hearings this week.
Prosecutor Haralambos Vourliotis said the officers “came [to Greece] as supplicants. I do not allow myself and Greek judges to extradite them,” a judicial source said.
There was applause in the courtroom as Vourliotis made his case, the source added.
The case involves eight Turkish military officers who arrived in the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis on the same helicopter on July 16, a day after a failed coup attempt .
The supreme court opened the hearings on Jan. 10 after an appeals court last month gave contradictory rulings on the case.
In three separate hearings under different judges, the appeals court elected to protect five of the officers but ordered the other three to be sent back.
After Jan. 10’s and Jan. 11’s hearings, the supreme court is scheduled to examine the last four officers on Jan. 13.
A judgement is due on Jan. 23, according to a judicial source, but any final decision will rest with Greece’s justice minister.
Prosecutors on Jan. 10 and Jan. 11 argued the officers would not receive a fair trial if returned to Turkey, the source added.
Defense lawyers released a video of the recent arrest of several judges in Turkey to support their case.
On Jan. 10, two of the officers said that members of their families have been sacked from their jobs and had their passports confiscated.
They deny having taken part in the coup attempt and claim their lives are in danger.
Their applications for asylum in July were rejected but appeals are currently being processed.
Since the coup attempt, many Turkish military officers have requested asylum in other NATO countries.