The Turkish government has renewed its request to Athens to extradite eight Turkish officers whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has labeled terrorists, and who have been charged as participants in the abortive July 15, 2016 coup against him.
According to sources in the Greek judiciary, Ankara is not prepared to accept Athens’ offer to put the officers on trial in Greece, a proposal Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis reiterated yesterday in talks with the visiting Turkish deputy justice minister, Bilal Uçar.
Instead, the Turkish government, one-and-a-half years after Greek authorities arrested the eight, is poised to present “new evidence”, which has not been made public, in order to ensure that the renewed extradition request will be judged by the Greek courts.
However, as Kontonis noted yesterday, the Greek Supreme Court in its irrevocable decision barring extradition of the eight cited not only the paucity of evidence, but the fact that they cannot be guaranteed a fair trial in Turkey, which will not change.
A new request with fresh evidence against the eight, when formally filed, will be reviewed by the Council of Appellate Judges, and may well end up in the Greek Supreme Court once again.
Reporting by Eleftheria Kollia