NEWS

Two arrested on charges of espionage

two-arrested-on-charges-of-espionage

Greek authorities have arrested two individuals accused of espionage in a case that could further strain relations between Greece and Turkey.

One of the suspects has been identified as a 35-year-old secretary at the Turkish Consulate on the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes and has been given until Monday to prepare his defense.

The second suspect, aged 56, was employed as a cook on a passenger ferry connecting the islands of Rhodes and Kastellorizo. Both islands are close to the Turkish coast.

The 56-year-old was arrested at his home in Komotini in northeastern Greece on Friday morning on an arrest warrant issued by a Rhodes prosecutor. He was transferred to Rhodes where he is expected to ask for time to prepare his defense.

Kathimerini understands that the 35-year-old secretary of the consulate declared ignorance over the claims made in the initial testimony to investigators by the ship’s cook.

The latter had admitted from the outset that he was recruited by the secretary in order to provide him with information on the movements of the Hellenic Armed Forces in the southeastern Aegean, namely Rhodes, Kastellorizo and other areas.

The 35-year-old has stated that his main duties at the consulate are administrative issues and cultural activities.

Both men have said they met at a social event last summer and that they have since maintained a friendly relationship.

As for the contents of the laptops and phones confiscated by investigators from his home earlier in the week, the 35-year-old has requested that they not be taken into account in the investigation of the case, citing an international treaty related to diplomatic secrecy.

A few days ago, the Turkish consul himself made a similar request to the prosecuting authorities investigating the case. The request is expected to be judged by the Board of Appeals of Rhodes in due course.

Investigating officials have clarified that the analysis of the digital evidence has not been completed.