Three out of the eightTurkish officers who sought asylum in Greece after July’s botched coup in Turkey will be extradited, a Greek court ruled on Tuesday. The decision, which was appealed by all three, follows the court’s rejection of Ankara’s extradition request for three other Turkish servicemen on Monday, which was also appealed by a prosecutor.
The final decision will lie with the Supreme Court, which will examine all the appeals related to the six officers within the next eight days, in accordance with Greek law. The six men will remain in custody pending their appeals.
The fate of the remaining two Turkish officers will be decided over the next few days.
Turkey wanted all eight men to be extradited on charges they participated in the coup attempt and for their alleged role in an assassination attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The servicemen landed in the northern Greek city of Alexandroupoli a day after the coup and sought asylum but their request was rejected by Greek authorities in September.
On Tuesday, judges on the panel of the Athens Council of Appeals rejected Ankara’s claim that they took part in the assassination attempt, but approved their extradition after accepting the charges that they participated in the coup and that, with their alleged actions, impeded a session of the Turkish Parliament and seized a military chopper.
The lawyer of the three men mocked the decision, saying that the reason why the court decided to extradite his clients was Turkey’s response to Monday’s ruling, when the country’s Defense Minister Fikri Isik said that Ankara expected the Greek government to do all it could to ensure the return of all eight.
The lawyer, Christos Mylonopoulos, also denounced the prosecutor’s appeal of Monday’s decision, saying, “It wasn’t grounded in law.”
All the officers – two commanders, four captains and two sergeants – have denied their involvement in the coup and have insisted they will not receive a fair trial if they are returned to Turkey, while one of their lawyers, Stavroula Tomara, has repeatedly cited the treatment of other coup plot suspects to back up the claim.