Court rejects Turkish request for trial of Greek pilot who allegedly shot down F-16 jet


A council of appeals court judges has rejected a request by a prosecutor in Ankara asking Greek judicial authorities to help launch legal procedures against a Greek pilot who allegedly shot down a Turkish F-16 fighter jet during a dogfight south of Kos island in October 1996, which resulted in the death of its pilot and injury of his co-pilot.

Judges earlier asked foreign ministry officials if the outcome of the decision would impact on Greece's relations with third countries.

Ankara prosecutors – who are citing evidence obtained from radar and conversation records of the two jets – had demanded two aggravated life sentences.

Their request was made after the family of the pilot, Nail Erdogan, asked Greek authorities to file a criminal lawsuit against the airman who allegedly piloted the Mirage 2000 that shot down the F-16. The co-pilot, Osman Cicekli, has also filed a complaint against the Greek pilot.

Turkish officials claim the jet was downed intentionally while Turkish media reports quoted the lawyer of Erdogan’s family saying the trial would be held in Turkey if Greek authorities don’t take action.