All eight Turkish officers and NCOs held in custody after arriving in NE Greece aboard a Turkish military helicopter – in the wake of an unsuccessful July 2016 coup in the neighboring country – have been released, given that an 18-month temporary pre-trial incarceration period has expired.
Eighteen months is the maximum someone can be held in pretrial detention in the country.
All eight Turkish nationals will be hosted at an undisclosed residence in the greater Athens area and under tight security, amid fears of their possible abduction.
Turkish reporters pounced on the development on Monday, as most pro-government and pro-AKP media in the neighboring country accuse the eight of being directly involved in the 2016 military putsch.
One of the eight has already been granted political asylum by Greece’s highest administrative court, which rejected the latest motion by the Tsipras government to block the request. Most judicial analysts in the country believe that the remaining seven will also be granted political asylum, a development that would allow for their legal departure from Greece to a third country.