Greece acquits Turks accused of terrorism

Greece acquits Turks accused of terrorism

Greece acquits Turks accused of terrorism

A Greek court on May 15 acquitted nine Turkish citizens of terrorism-related offenses, citing a lack of evidence, a judicial source said, according to Reuters. 

Greek police had arrested the eight men and one woman in dawn raids in central Athens, days before a state visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Greece in December 2017.

The suspects had planned to launch rockets at both sides of Erdoğan’s convoy as he traveled through Athens on Dec. 7, Greek media had reported at the time.

Greece’s anti-terrorism units raided apartments in central Athens on Nov. 28, 2017 detaining the suspects. A Greek court on Dec. 4 ordered the arrest of the nine Turkish citizens.

Authorities at the time suspected links to the DHKP-C, an outlawed militant group behind a series of suicide bombings in Turkey since 1990.

The detainees had denied any wrongdoing, and prosecutors had suggested they should be acquitted. The judicial source provided no further details on the outcome of the case.

Greece and Turkey, although NATO allies, have often been at loggerheads over issues including Aegean territorial rights and the ethnically divided island of Cyprus.

Tensions rose further when eight Turkish army officers commandeered a helicopter and fled to Greece in the wake of the failed coup attempt in July 2016 in Turkey. Greek courts have repeatedly rejected extradition requests from Turkish authorities.