A Greek court sentenced the eight Turkish army officials who fled to Greece aboard a Turkish military helicopter in the wake of an attempted coup in their country, to two months in prison on charges of illegal entry to Greece.
All eight military officials received the same sentence on Thursday, and though it was suspended for three years they are still being held in custody pending resolution to their political asylum claim. The Greek court recognized the mitigating circumstances that the men faced, having acted while under threat. As a result, the pilot was acquitted of violating flight regulations.
Turkey has warned that the men should be extradited for their participation in Friday’s coup attempt. The eight men, however, deny involvement and have applied for asylum fearing for their safety if they return, especially bearing in mind the widespread purges in Turkey.