NEWS

Suspects in drug trial stay in cells

suspects-in-drug-trial-stay-in-cells

Three suspects in the Noor 1 drug smuggling trial were to be released over the weekend after completing the maximum of 18 months in pretrial custody. Instead, they have been staying in a police precinct in Athens as they were unable to notify authorities of a permanent address, Kathimerini understands.

The three men, all Turkish nationals, are among 33 suspects who face charges of drug smuggling and forming a criminal organization following the discovery of 2 tons of heroin in Athens last year. The drug was shipped to Greece on board the Noor 1 cargo ship.

“They are allowed to move freely, they can use their cell phones, but they have to stay in a cell for the time being,” the suspects’ lawyer, Stratos Valtoudis, told Kathimerini.

A fourth Turkish suspect also completed the maximum of 18 months in pretrial custody and was released over the weekend. He is said to be staying with relatives in Athens.

The four Turks were arrested in June 2014 following the drug hauls in Filothei and Koropi. They are alleged to be members of the gang that was tasked with taking delivery of the drugs and preparing to forward them to Central Europe.

On December 21, the 18-month pretrial custody period will also expire for the crew of the Noor 1, 10 Indian nationals and an Iranian. Two businessmen who have been implicated in the affair, including one at whose home in Filothei half of the drugs were found, are to remain in custody.