Athens/Prague – Two developers from Czech Republic who were held in a Greek jail since September on suspicion of espionage will be, according to information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, released on bail. Several days ago their attorney Dagmar Raupachová said that the Greek authorities should make a decision regarding their further appeal during January, mid February at the latest. Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta will be able to return back to the Czech Republic once they are released. Prime Minister Petr Ne?as was so informed by his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras.
“We received this information from the attorney of the two arrested, who informed us, that they will be released as soon as they pay the bail,” told ?eská Televize the deputy ambassador in Greece Milo? Ku?era. The bail has been, according to him, set to 5 thousand Euro. “We have an unconfirmed report that both families have the money available and are discussing transferring the money to Greece with their attorney,” Mr. Ku?era added.
He highlights that this is just a release on bail, it isn’t a definitive end of the cause, court dealings will continue further. The time frame cannot be estimated, Greek judges are still on strike.
“So far me do not have the decision in a written form,” Dagmar Raupachová said. The attorney that monitors the case on request of the family therefore, according to her own words, does not want to comment on the case much yet. She is happy that her long-term effort wasn’t for nothing. According to her the whole administrative matter should be resolved within several days.
Government’s spokesperson Michal Schuster:
“As a result of repeated dealings, today the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras informed the Czech Prime Minister Petr Ne?as over the telephone that the two Czech arrested by Greek police because of supposed photography of military objects on the island of Lemnos have been released. Petr Ne?as expressed appreciation for the efforts of PM Antonis Samaras and thanked him.”
The pair of game developers were arrested by the Greek police due to photography of military objects. According to information from Greek press the two men were monitored since their arrival by the Greek security service who supposedly also contacted Czech security services.
An appeal for their release of the detained Czechs has previously come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister Petr Ne?as and even a presidential letter by Václav Klaus, all until now unsuccessful.
The two Czechs, who have been detained in Greece since last year’s September due to suspicion of military espionage will be released on bail, the office of Prime Minister Petr Ne?as said on Tuesday.
“As a result of repeated dealings, today the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras informed Czech Prime Minister Petr Ne?as over the telephone that the two Czechs arrested by Greek police because of supposed photography of military objects on the island of Lemnos have been released. Both can now return back to the Czech Republic. PM Petr Ne?as expressed appreciation for the efforts of PM Antonis Samaras and thanked him,” said Petr Ne?as’ spokesperson Michal Schuster on Tuesday.
“Thankfully they have been released, but they will still be held accountable [for their supposed crime in court] later, but their not in jail anymore. Thank god for that. I’d like to thank the Greek side for this
Both men aged 28 and 33 years, who work for a video game-producing company Bohemia Interactive faced up to 20 years in prison if they were convicted.
The men supposedly rerecorded and photographed strategic military objects to be used in an upcoming military shooter.
After Bohemia Interactive denied that its employees were in Greece and illegally obtained photos as part of their work, the Czech President Václav Klaus also sided with them when he sent a letter to his Greek counterpart Karlos Papoulias with a request for their release.
Two Czech developers who are being detained in Greece on suspicion of espionage since September will be released and will be able to return to the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed and added that the bail is set to 5,000 Euro for each – approximately 128 thousand K?.
The mother of one of the detained – Iveta Pezlarová – reacted to the information about her son’s release very emotionally. “I cannot describe, we rather didn’t count on anything. It’s unbelievable,” she sobbed while on the telephone.
A Greek investigative committee has decided the release of both Czechs, it came to the conclusion that there is no threat to the Greek national security. As Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, this reason could have a large impact on the further court dealings.
Both Czechs – 28 years old Martin Pezlar and 33 years old Ivan Buchta – were arrested on the island of Lemnos in September. According to Greek authorities they were illegally photographing local military objects. In theory, they could have been imprisoned for up to 20 years. The Czechs refuted that and said they were there on holiday and were only taking pictures as a reminder of the holiday.
That was, however, in conflict with the fact that they were found with at least seven photos and seven videos (sic) of “sensitive” material. Both are also employees of a Czech IT company developing digital war games (sic), including one that shows Lemnos including its military objects.