Citing the risk of torture and the prospect of an unfair trial in Turkey, a Supreme Court prosecutor on Tuesday recommended that two of the eight Turkish military officers who fled to Greece after a failed military coup in the neighboring country should not be extradited. A verdict on the fate of the pair is due on January 23.
The hearing was the first for the eight officers, who have all denied taking part in the coup. Another two officers are due to have their cases heard Wednesday and the remaining four on Friday.
In her reasoning Tuesday, Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Vassiliki Theodorou said that Ankara’s demand for the eight officers’ extradition was unacceptable for a series of reasons, notably because “there is no indication that they will receive a fair trial or that they will not be submitted to harsh torture and humiliating and inhumane treatment.”
A series of witnesses including several Greek intellectuals testified in court Tuesday, arguing that an ongoing purge being carried out by Turkish authorities meant the officers’ lives would be at risk if they were returned home.
Among those who took the stand was academic and former justice minister Michalis Stathopoulos, who said he would not extradite the officers if the decision were in his hands.