Turkish court refuses request to release Greek soldiers until trial

The two Greek soldiers arrested and imprisoned on remand in Turkey will remain in custody pending trial, after a Turkish court in Edirne rejected a request for their release submitted by their defence counsel on Monday.

The Turkish court in Edirne announced is decision on Monday afternoon after it had earlier said that the hearing to discuss their release, scheduled to be held on Monday morning, would be postponed until later in the week.

The public prosecutor assigned to the case must now present the charges against them, which will either be accepted or rejected by the court, and a date for the trial will be set.

The two Greek servicemen were arrested last Thursday after allegedly straying into Turkish territory during last week’s bad weather while on a routine patrol of the Greek-Turkish border in Kastanies forest in Evros, where they ran into a Turkish patrol. They stand accused of entering a Turkish military zone.

The Turkish prosecutor on Monday gave the families of the two Greek officers permission to visit them in Edirne prison, where they are being held on remand.

Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Monday made a statement regarding the arrest of two Greek servicemen by Turkish authorities, during a joint press conference with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Christodoulides after their meeting at the foreign ministry in Athens.

Kotzias stated that “Turkey ought to apply the provisions of International Law and not turn a routine procedure into a major legal and political problem”.


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