Greece arrests nine over links to DHKP-C

Greece arrests nine over links to DHKP-C

ATHENS - Reuters
Greece arrests nine over links to DHKP-C

A Greek court on Dec. 4 ordered the arrest of nine Turkish citizens pending trial for terrorism-related offences, including links to an outlawed militant group behind a series of suicide bombings in Turkey.

Greek police arrested the eight men and one woman in dawn raids in central Athens last week. Officials say there is no link between the arrests and a planned state visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Greece, the first by a Turkish head of state in 65 years, on Dec. 7-8.

Greek police are investigating the suspects’ alleged links to the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), a group blamed for a string of attacks and suicide bombings in Turkey since 1990.

The nine suspects have been charged with setting up and belonging to a criminal organization, terrorist-related acts of supplying explosive materials, and with illegal possession of firearms, smoke bombs and fire crackers, court officials said.

They said the suspects had denied the charges.

Police have released the names and photographs of the suspects, who are aged between 20 and 64.

One of the detainees had been wanted by Greek police in connection with an arms and explosives haul off the Greek island of Chios, close to the Turkish coast, in 2013.

Under Greek law, individuals can be held pending trial for up to 18 months. Some of the defendants will apply for asylum in the meantime, their lawyers said.