Justice minister meets with Turkish deputy minister over trial of 8 Turkish servicemen in Greece

The trial of eight Turkish servicemen who fled to Alexandroupoli following a failed coup on July 15, 2016 was discussed during a meeting in Athens on Tuesday between visiting Turkish Deputy Justice Minister Bilal Ucar and Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis.

Ucar and a delegation from the Turkish justice ministry, who arrived in Athens on Monday, met with a delegation from the Greek justice ministry headed by Secretary General Dimitris Papaspyrou before the ministerial-level meeting meeting. They discussed among other things the legal framework within which Turkey can act, given the fact that the eight will not be extradited, following a high court decision in Greece.

Following his meeting with Ucar, Kontonis said that the Turkish government “has recourse to justice, set out explicitly in the Greek Penal Code, therefore it is left to its discretion to take legal action. In terms of the extradition (of the eight), this has been finalized by the ruling handed down by the Greek Supreme Court.”

The court decision “does not enter into questions of indications of complicity or not for the specific people,” the justice minister said, but “addresses what it considers fundamental: that under the present circumstances in Turkey (…) these officers may not be given a fair trial as set out by international rules.”

Therefore, Kontonis added, “the Turkish side should seriously tale into account the content of the Supreme Court’s decision.”