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Turkish servicemen could be tried in Greece, minister says

04/01/2018

In the ongoing saga involving eight Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece following a failed coup in Turkey in 2016, Greek Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis left open the possibility of the soldiers being tried in Greece.

"We are considering the possibility of them being tried in Greece for offenses committed abroad in accordance with article 8 of the criminal code," Kontonis told a press conference on Thursday.

"The prime minister has said that they should have a fair trial," Kontonis added, referring to comments made by Alexis Tsipras last month during a visit to Greece by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan which were widely interpreted as referring to the hearings for the eight men who have sought political asylum in Greece.

 Reiterating the words of government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, Kontonis said the issue of the servicemen's extradition "has closed."

"The decision by the Supreme Court is absolutely respected by us all," he added, referring to a ruling last January rejecting Ankara's demand for the eight men's extradition.

His comments came a few days after a legal committee decided to grant asylum to one of the eight Turkish servicemen, prompting an angry response by Ankara.

Tsipras's office subsequently sought to block the asylum decision, a move that was widely seen as bowing to pressure from Ankara.

But Greek officials insist that, irrespective of rulings regarding asylum, the men will not be extradited, in accordance with the Supreme Court's decision.

New rooms en.athenspress.gr Press/Source:kathimerini

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