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Greek Court Examines Turkish Soldier's Landmark Case

Greece’s Council of State

Legal deliberations in Athens on Friday could determine the fate of the eight Turkish ex-servicemen wanted by Ankara for their alleged involvement in the July 2016 coup in Turkey.
Greece’s Council of State is examining the asylum appeal of one of the men in what is considered to be a test case which will outline the legal status of the remaining detainees.
The Turkish solider subject to today’s hearing is already out of custody, having spent 18 months in detention awaiting an asylum ruling. However, he is living at a secret location under tight security.
Greek government lawyers are claiming the men cannot be classed as refugees and should be tried in Turkey under its criminal code. However, lower courts have already rejected extradition requests by Ankara, saying the men will not receive a fair trial in Turkey.
In March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to link the fate of the two Greek soldiers being held in a Turkish prison with the eight former Turkish servicemen seeking political asylum in Greece.
On April 16, Greek Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis announced that, as Turkey has not requested their trial in Greece, therefore, “following the expiration of 18 months, which is coming up in May, there is no provision of extending [the soldiers’] detention.”

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