The Greek Court of Cassation on Thursday ruled against extradition of eight Turkish soldiers, a decision that cannot be overturned. The soldiers fled to Greece after being accused of playing a part in the attempted coup [JURIST report] against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [official website]. The soldiers deny involvement and sought political asylum in Greece. The Supreme Court stated [Reuters report] that it was too concerned with the possibility of the soldiers’ rights being violated if they were extradited to Turkey. Turkey has demanded the soldiers’ extradition, and the issue has contributed to disputes between the two countries.
This is the final decision after lower courts in December were previously divided on the issue, with it being decided that three men would be extradited [AP report] just after a court said three others should remain in Greece [JURIST report]. In November Erdoğan threatened [JURIST report] to send a new wave of migrants to Europe following a vote to halt negotiations [JURIST report] over EU membership. The fallout with the EU is a continuance of the aftermath Turkey has faced since crackdown after the attempted coup. Since then the government has dismissed [JURIST report] 10,000 civil servants with links to the plotters of coup. In September Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said [JURIST report] that approximately 32,000 people had been arrested in relation to the coup attempt, and 70,000 had been questioned.