By Furkan Naci Top
ATHENS (AA) – An appeal hearing on the fate of a former Turkish military officer accused of being involved in the July 2016 defeated coup in Turkey is set for Feb. 22, the president of Greece’s highest court said Tuesday.
In a statement, Nikolaos Sakellariou said the Council of State would also declare a final verdict on May 4 over the government's appeal of a decision by an administrative court to revoke the asylum granted to the ex-officer.
Suleyman Ozkaynakci was one of eight Turkish military officers who fled to Greece by helicopter after the failed coup. Ozkaynakci co-piloted the helicopter.
Last December, Ozkaynakci was granted asylum in Greece, leading to friction between Ankara and Athens, as Turkey has accused the eight fugitives of involvement in the deadly defeated coup.
Later, the asylum decision was temporarily revoked by an administrative court, resulting in Ozkaynakci's renewed detention by authorities.
On Thursday, the legal team of the eight ex-officers requested a unified asylum hearing for the entire group to be heard by the Council of State.
Although the administrative court's final decision on Ozkaynakci's asylum was set to be announced on Feb. 15, the change in venue to the Council of State is likely to delay the verdict.
In January 2017, the Supreme Court decided not to extradite the eight ex-officers to Turkey in a ruling the Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized as “politically motivated”.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen organized the defeated coup which led to the martyring of 250 people and some 2,200 injured.