In letter to Tsipras, Verhofstadt appeals against extradition of Turkish officers


In a letter to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the European Parliament's Liberal group, appealed against the prospect of Greece extraditing eight Turkish military officers whose fate is to be decided by the Greek Supreme Court this week.

Underlining the need to "preserve and fully respect the fundamental European values and principles which Greece helped shape throughout European history," Verhofstadt said he hoped Greece would be "guided by these principles when deciding about the fate of the eight Turkish officers."

"I am aware of the political complexity and sensitivity of this case and have of course no possibility to judge whether these officers are guilty or not of being involved in the military coup," Verhofstadt wrote.

He expressed his concern, however, about the way that Turkish authorities have cracked down on perceived dissent in the wake of the failed coup and the possible repercussions this could have on the Turkish officers' if they are returned home.

The Supreme Court is to hear the officers' case in three sessions this week: on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.