Greece rejects extradition of defected Turkish soldiers, Turkey angry

The soldiers say they would not receive a fair trial in Turkey

BBC – Turkey has reacted with anger after a Greek court ruled against extraditing eight Turkish soldiers accused of involvement in an attempted coup.

Turkey accused Greece of failing in the “fight against terrorism” and said the decision was “politically motivated”.

The eight men fled in a helicopter to Greece after last July’s coup attempt but say they were not involved.

Presiding judge Giorgos Sakkas said the men were unlikely to receive a fair trial in Turkey.

Turkey has demanded the three majors, three captains and two sergeant majors return to stand trial. The soldiers have argued their lives would be in danger.

They are accused of playing a significant part in the coup attempt on 15 July 2016, and of having links with a group which allegedly tried to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the night of the attempted coup.

“We protest this decision which prevents these individuals who have threatened the life of our president and took an active role in a coup attempt that killed 248 of our citizens… from appearing in front of Turkish judiciary,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

In retaliation to the Greek Supreme Court’s ruling, an Istanbul court has approved a request from prosecutors for an arrest warrant for the eight soldiers.

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