Turkey, Europe

Greek high court to rule on accused coup-plotter

Suleyman Ozkaynakci fled Turkey on helicopter one day after 2016 defeated coup, with 7 other ex-soldiers

Ekip   | 08.02.2018
Greek high court to rule on accused coup-plotter

Atina

ATHENS, Greece

The fate of a Turkish ex-soldier accused of involvement in the July 2016 defeated coup in Turkey now lies in the hands of Greece’s highest court.

The Council of State will consider the asylum case of Suleyman Ozkaynakci, who co-piloted a helicopter fleeing to Greece a day after the defeated coup, along with seven other officers, state news agency AMNA announced Thursday.

Last December, Ozkaynakci was granted asylum in Greece, leading to friction between Ankara and Athens, as Turkey has accused the eight fugitives of involvement in the deadly defeated coup.

Later, the asylum decision was temporarily revoked by an administrative court, resulting in Ozkaynakci's new detention by authorities.

On Thursday, the legal team of the eight ex-officers requested a unified asylum hearing for the entire group to be heard by the Council of State, Greece's highest court.

Although the administrative court's final decision on Ozkaynakci's asylum was set to be announced on Feb. 15, the change in venue to the Council of State is likely to delay the verdict.

In January 2017, the Greek Supreme Court decided not to extradite the eight ex-officers to Turkey, in a ruling the Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized as “politically motivated.”

The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen organized the defeated coup, which led to the martyring of 250 people and some 2,200 injured.

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