Athens: Greece’s Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the extradition of eight Turkish military officers sought by Ankara over July’s failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a justice source said.
The men landed a helicopter in Greece a day after the botched putsch and asked for asylum, setting up a politically delicate situation in Greece.
Turkey has branded them “terrorists” and the case is awkward for Athens, which is working with Nato ally Ankara to stem the flow of migrants through its territory towards western Europe.
“Regardless of their (alleged) culpability or the seriousness of their crimes, extradition cannot be applied because the rights of those wanted could be nullified or curtailed,” the court said.
The officers — two commanders, four captains and two sergeants — embraced each other and snapped pictures with their Greek lawyers after the ruling was read out, the justice source said.
In addition, the court ordered that the eight be released from police custody.
Shortly after the court’s decision Turkey issued an arrest warrant for the eight men, Turkish media reported. Turkey has previously asked for the mens’ extradition....