Turkish airman’s arrest probed


An administrative court in Athens is due to examine, possibly as early as Wednesday, whether authorities broke the law when they arrested one of the eight Turkish servicemen seeking asylum in Greece after escaping from the neighboring country in a military helicopter following last year’s attempted coup.

Lawyers representing the Greek Council of Refugees held a news conference in Athens on Tuesday during which they accused authorities of illegally arresting the Turkish officer after a judge temporarily suspended the process of granting him asylum. One of the lawyers, Vassilis Papadopoulos, said that every effort would be made to protect the officer.

The former head of the Athens Bar Association, Dimitris Paxinos, was also critical of the way the case had been handled, suggesting that the judge had given in to pressure from the government to re-examine an asylum committee’s decision to grant protection to the Turkish airman.

“It is shameful for the judge who issued the decision,” he said. “She acted illegally and unethically. Everything had been planned in advance. It did not happen by chance.”