Supreme Court refuses to extradite eight Turkish servicemen that fled to Greece

The eight Turkish military servicemen that fled to Greece after the July coup are to be released and not extradited to Turkey, the Greek Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

The penal sections of the Supreme Court found that the possibility of trespassing on the rights of the individuals involved, regardless of their degree of guilt or the seriousness of their offences, did not allow the implementation of extradition measures, which were superseded by the greater importance of rules protecting human rights.

The eight servicement arrived in the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis in a Turkish military helicopter on the night of the failed coup in Turkey last July, seeking refuge in Greece.

Commenting on the decision, main opposition New Democracy MP and shadow minister for justice Nikos Panagiotopoulos said the court had ruled “on the basis of the laws and legal framework of our country and the values and principles of a state of law, keeping the country’s prestige high.”

The lawyers representing the eight Turkish servicemen greeted the decision as a “great triumph for European values and Greek justice” and showed that “justice can be a bright hope for the future when it is allowed to act independently”.