Greek court told Turkish soldiers in danger if extradited

Greek court told Turkish soldiers in danger if extradited
Two Turkish soldiers, who fled to Greece in a helicopter and requested political asylum after a failed military coup against the government, are escorted by police officers as they arrive at the Supreme Court in Athens. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
1 week ago

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ATHENS – A lawyer representing two Turkish soldiers fighting extradition to Turkey in Greece's highest court said on Tuesday (January 10) a prosecutor "made clear" during the hearing that the soldiers could face inhuman and humiliating treatment if extradited.

Two of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece after an abortive coup attempt against President Tayyip Erdogan, appeared before Greece's Supreme Court on Tuesday, which is to decide whether to return them to Turkey.

"It was a detailed hearing procedure. The proposal submitted by the prosecutor was comprehensive, and also stands out for its courageousness. It was made clear (by the prosecutor) that there is a danger of inhuman and humiliating treatment, and that the aim of the trial is to protect common cultural values which are guaranteed under the European treaty for human rights," said lawyer Christos Milonopoulos at the end of the hearing.

Eight Turkish soldiers fled to Greece in a helicopter in July 2016, requesting asylum. They say their lives are in danger and they will not receive a fair trial if they return to Turkey.

Previous lower court hearings ruled that five of the eight should not be extradited, but an appeals court prosecutor appealed that decision.

The other three are appealing another lower court decision to be extradited.

The Supreme Court - the country's highest court - will give a ruling on all eight, court officials said.

The hearings for all eight will continue over the next few days.

Turkey has branded them as traitors and has requested their extradition. The soldiers deny playing a role in the coup attempt.