In a sudden major twist in the affair of the eight Turkish military officers allegedly involved in the 15 July, 1996 coup d’état against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis left open the possibility that the eight could be tried in Greece.

Kontonis said that the Greek government would consider honouring the request if the Turkish government were to propose it.

“The Prime Minister [Alexis Tsipras] has said that they are entitled to a fair trial. The possibility is being considered for them to be tried in Greece for crimes that have been committed abroad, in accordance with article 8 of the Greek penal code,” Kontonis said.

The said article states that for foreign nationals who are tried in Greece for crimes committed abroad, the Greek penal code applies, and not that of the country in which the crime was committed, and it cites high treason and terrorism as specific categories of crimes which foreigners have committed abroad.

The Erdogan regime has accused the eight officers of both high treason and terrorism.

“The possibility of extradition has been definitively ruled out. We all absolutely respect the decision of the Areios Pagos (Greek Supreme Court). I cannot understand why certain legal circles are discussing this again. Much ado about nothing,” Kontonis said.

Mina Moustaka