Czechs who took photos on Lemnos convicted of spying

Czechs who took photos on Lemnos convicted of spying

Two Czech nationals who were caught taking photographs of military installations on the northern Aegean island of Lemnos in September 2012 have been sentenced to two-and-a-half years each in prison, according to a court ruling that was made public Tuesday.

The two men, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, were initially released in January 2013 following a flurry of diplomacy between the Greek and Czech governments. The pair, both employees of the games firm Bohemia Interactive, had denied the charges and claimed to have been visiting Lemnos as tourists. Bohemia produces video games featuring detailed and realistic virtual worlds.

On May 15, a Lesvos court rejected the claim that the two men’s interest in the island was limited to the images used in Bohemia’s game Arma 3 and convicted them of espionage. They appealed their prison sentences and returned to the Czech Republic, according to court sources.

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