Greek court delays trial of Turkish 'coup' soldiers

Trial of 8 Turkish military personnel who flew helicopter into Greece amid coup attempt to begin Thursday

Greek court delays trial of Turkish 'coup' soldiers

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Greek court has postponed the trial of eight Turkish military personnel who were onboard a helicopter which landed in the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis after an attempted coup in Turkey on Friday.

The Turks had asked for political asylum in Greece after Friday’s failed putsch. The pilot of the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is charged with violating air traffic regulations; the seven other men are charged with being accomplices.

Their trial is expected to now take place Thursday.

The case of the eight personnel -- whose ranks have been identified as two majors, four captains and two master sergeants -- is being handled by three lawyers who are members of the Alexandroupolis Bar Association. 

One of these, Vasiliki Ilia Marinaki, is representing four of the Turkish soldiers and is a well-known legal figure who has handled previous criminal cases in the area. 

A Greek lawyer speaking to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity described Marinaki as a “famous and well-known lawyer in Alexandroupolis who has handled mostly internal affairs, criminal and civil law cases”.

Marinaki has claimed her clients knew nothing about the coup but had been instructed to transport wounded people from Istanbul. She said the men, shortly after learning about the situation, came under fire from police and feared for their lives.

A second lawyer in the case, Menia Polychroni, runs a private office with her associate, Zabouki Giannis, in Alexandroupolis.

According to comments reported by the Athens Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) Polychroni said her clients did not take part in the coup and were now in fear of their lives and those of their families in Turkey.

At least 208 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were killed in Istanbul and Ankara and nearly 1,500 others wounded as they protested against Friday’s attempted coup whereby helicopter gunships and jet fighters targeted public institutions and anti-putsch protesters.

The failed military coup was organized by followers of U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through supporters within Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming the parallel state.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Temmuz 2016, 08:50