Five foreign aid workers cleared of smuggling by Lesvos court


Five members of foreign aid groups accused of attempting to smuggle migrants into Greece were cleared by a Lesvos court on Monday. 

The five are three Spanish firefighters, who came to Greece at the peak of the refugee crisis to work for the Spanish group Proem-Aid, and two members of Danish non-government organization Team Humanity.

They were alleged to have attempted to rescue migrants without the authorization of Greek coast guard officers in January 2016.

If convicted, they could have faced heavy prison terms. 

One of their lawyers, Frangiskos Ragousis, confirmed that the five had been acquitted, saying his confidence in the Greek judicial system had been renewed. 

Human rights groups have rallied to their defense with Amnesty International on Monday calling for the charges to be dropped, claiming that the five should not be prosecuted for trying to save refugees.