Turkey drops espionage charges against 2 Greek military members: report

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People take part in a rally, organized by various groups through social media, next to the statue of Alexander the Great, in Thessaloniki, on March 25, 2018, Greek Independence Day, to call for the release of the two Greek soldiers arrested by Turkish authorities. The soldiers had been held by authorities after they entered Turkey, claiming they got lost because of the weather conditions. / AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDIS

A Turkish prosecutor has dropped military espionage charges against two Greek servicemen who were detained in March 2018 after accidentally crossing the border into Turkey in bad weather, the Ekathimerini news website reported, citing local media.

According to the same reports, the prosecutor in Edirne, northwest Turkey, ruled that an examination of the mobile phones found in the soldiers’ possession revealed no evidence to support the allegation.

The two men, Lt. Angelos Mitretodis and Sgt. Dimitris Kouklatzis, will now only answer charges of illegal entry into the country.

Athens claimed at the time that the two servicemen crossed into Turkey by mistake while following the trail of suspected undocumented migrants.

Mitretodis and Kouklatzis had been held in a high security prison in Edirne for 167 days before their release pending trial in August of last year.

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