Greek court says Turkish officers must stay in custody

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Turkish officers are escorted by Greek special police forces as they leave the Greek Supreme Court in Athens, after a hearing concerning a possible extradition of the officers over July's failed coup in Turkey, on January 23, 2017 in Athens. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS

A Greek court has ruled that eight Turkish officers seeking asylum in Greece must remain in temporary police custody even though Turkey’s request for their extradition has been denied.

The pilots and flight engineers fled to Greece in a military helicopter a day after a failed military coup in Turkey on July 15.

The court on Wednesday upheld police arguments that they should be detained for three months pending examination of their asylum bids, due to national security concerns.

The men had appealed for release, arguing that they have not been convicted of any wrongdoing.

Greece’s Supreme Court last week rejected Turkey’s extradition request, saying that the eight men wouldn’t get a fair trial in Turkey, and that their lives might be in danger there. The decision prompted anger from Turkey.

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