The eight Turkish officials implicated for having taken part in the attempted coup in their country before escaping to Greece were sentenced to two months in prison on Thursday for illegal entry to Greece due to mitigating circumstances. Their political asylum cases are now being investigated. Their lawyer, Ilias Marinakis, said that he was informed by the police director of the northeastern Greek city of Alexandroupolis that the men had been transferred to Athens, however, he has not been able to speak with them.
He expressed concern regarding the transfer to Athens and said he did not know the reason for this move. The men were moved in utmost secrecy at 9 a.m. and lawyers were informed hours later that the eight Turkish asylum seekers had been taken to the Police Precinct of the Olympic Village.
Menia Polychroni, another of the three lawyers representing the eight, said the legal team found out unofficially that their clients were being transported to Athens on Friday and had confirmed the information with authorities. She told the Associated Press that the move complicates the contacts that the lawyers will have with their clients ahead of contacts that the eight will have with officials in Alexandroupolis next week as part of the political asylum.
Shortly after being sentenced in Alexandroupolis, the two men were transported by helicopter to the northern town of Kavala where they were moved on Tuesday from Feres in Evros, a border town between Greece and Turkey. The decision to transfer the men to Athens is negatively viewed by lawyers. There is speculation that the application for protection will be processed in Athens.
Turkey wants the extradition of the eight so that they can stand trial for treason in Turkey.