Roundup: Turkish officials claiming asylum in Greece terrified, trust Greek justice:lawyer

CNC
Added On July 19, 2016

ATHENS, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The eight Turkish military officers who landed in northern Greece in a military helicopter on Saturday in the wake of the failed military coup, were terrified, but had faith in Greek justice, one of their lawyers told Xinhua on Monday.

The officers landed in Alexandroupolis, and requested asylum in Greece.

The eight officers who have been charged of making illegal entry into Greece were led before a local court on Monday morning and were given more time to prepare their depositions. The court was adjourned until Thursday.

Meanwhile, they were scheduled on Tuesday to appear before the local asylum agency to start proceedings for the examination of their asylum claims.

Turkish government officials have called them traitors, but so far no formal request for their extradition has been filed.

Through their attorneys, the defendants have insisted since Saturday that they were not among the plotters. They claimed they fled to Greece fearing for their lives when their helicopter came under fire by Turkish police on Friday night and were informed by relatives of the dramatic developments.

"They are terrified. They fear for their lives and their families back home, hearing about developments in Turkey since Friday," Menia Polychroni told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

"However they do retain hope, having faith in the Greek justice system. They believe that Greece respects international law," Polychroni stressed, expressing optimism over the outcome.

From Saturday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and cabinet ministers have stressed numerous times when making contacts with Turkish leaders that Greece will fully observe the international law on asylum and extradition.

According to law experts, the process could last from a couple of weeks to months.

Lia Marinaki, who represents four of the defendants, told Xinhua that they are determined to fight their extradition to Turkey until the end, and in case the process in Greece will end inconclusively, they were planning to claim asylum in other countries. Enditem