The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a 46-year-old Syrian man arrested in Athens for involvement in passport forgery can be extradited to the US.
Greece’s highest court upheld an earlier ruling by a council of appeals court judges in Athens, which also gave the green light to the request for the man to be tried in the US.
The Syrian, who has not been named by Greek authorities, was arrested in the Athens neighborhood of Exarchia on July 20 soon after accepting 10,000 euros from a secret US agent to secure four fake US passports for what the undercover officer said were members or ISIS.
“I acted as the middleman to get hold of these passports but I am not a terrorist, nor do I have any links with terrorists,” the suspect said in a recent telephone interview with Kathimerini reporter Yiannis Papadopoulos.
“When they told me they wanted the passports for Daesh [aka ISIS], I didn’t take them seriously.”
The Syrian man has been living in Greece for 25 years and has worked as an interpreter.
His lawyer argued that since the alleged offense took place here he should not be extradited.
However, US authorities have charged him with defrauding the American state.
The suspect is currently being held at Korydallos Prison as he has also been charged with forgery by Greek authorities.