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British Spotters To Be Released On Bail  
User currently offlineGreenjet From Ireland, joined Aug 2001, 950 posts, RR: 1
Posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1248 times:

From the BBC:

The 12 British plane-spotters held in Greece are to be freed on bail to face reduced charges at a later date, their Greek lawyer has said.
The lawyer - who was sitting in a hearing with the judges considering the case - told the BBC the courts were asking for bail of £5m drachmas, about £9,000, for each defendant.

If supplied the Britons can go back to the UK but will have to return to Greece at a later date to face a trial on a lesser misdemeanour charge of illegal information collection, which carries a five-year sentence.

The group had been facing a felony charge of spying, which carries a 20-year sentence.

The same conditions also apply for the two Dutch plane-spotters arrested with the group.

The group's lawyer, Yannis Zacharias, said: "We are very pleased as this was our objective all the way through."

But Stephen Warren, the son of one of the accused Lesley Coppin, branded the decision "disgusting" and said there was little hope of raising the bail money in time for their release before Christmas.

Ron Arnold, the father of Graham Arnold, told the BBC that he hoped the government would help the families to raise the bail money.

Maria Kennedy, the sister of Antoni Adamiak, said: "I am just desperate to get him home. I just want to know now what I need to do practically and what I need to do about this money.

Victory

"I won't really believe it until he is back and I can see him."

Labour East MEP Richard Howitt, who has been campaigning on behalf of the group, said he did regard the decision as a victory.

"I have no doubt that when it comes to trial the case will collapse - although technically this misdemeanour allegation could carry a five-year jail sentence if proved.

"It does worry me that asking each family to find £10,000 for bail is a lot. We are now just hoping that these people will be back home as soon as possible."

Mr Zacharias said he was not sure when the accused would be released because it depended on when bail was paid.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said in a statement: "Like everyone else, I was greatly relieved to hear this news but we will now have to work hard to ensure that this judicial decision does mean the speedy release from custody of all those being held."

The group were arrested on 8 November in the Greek town of Kalamata at after attending an airshow.

The state prosecutor had recommended in a 30-page report to the judges that they should be tried.

The 12 British people in custody are Paul Coppin, 45 and Lesley Coppin, 51, of Mildenhall, Suffolk; Peter Norris, 52, of Uxbridge, west London; Antoni Adamiak, 37, of London; Andrew Jenkins, 32, of York; Wayne Groves, 38, of Tamworth; Michael Bussell, 47, of Swanland, near Hull; Michael Keane, 57, of Dartford, Kent; Steven Rush, 38, from Caterham, Surrey; Christopher Wilson, 46, who lives close to Gatwick Airport; Graham Arnold, 38, from Ottershaw, Surrey; and Gary Fagan, 28, from Kegworth, Leicestershire.

The two Dutchmen being held are Patrick Dirksen, 27, from Eindhoven, and Frank Mink, 28, from Den Helder.



11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHkgspotter1 From Hong Kong, joined Nov 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1233 times:

Greece should be punished for this. Its just crazy what they are doing. They have already been in jail for a month, let them go I think they have already had a very good warning.

I dont know whats worse, the month in jail or then being told you need to pay 9000 pounds to go home !!

Not one person outside of the Greek Government thinks they are spies so just quit with this crap.

P.S. There are also two dutch men that are in the same boat.


User currently offlineOvelix From Greece, joined Aug 1999, 639 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1228 times:

LOL!!! Now they want the greek government to pay the bail!!!

Hkgspotter1, the judge said they are not spies. Period.

The judge said that they will be tried for "illegal information collection", which carries a five-year sentence, IF they will be convicted.

The judge sets the bail according to how serious a crime is. And collecting info about military activity is serious.

As you probably notice I am referring the judge who is the only one responsible to say what must be done.

Some people here think that the UK government, the Daily Mail and some crap comedians can dictate to a judge what should he do.

Kostas




User currently offlinePlanespotterx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1216 times:

yes, looks like a early XMAS present for STPSIG today SAVE THE PLANE SPOTTERS IN GREECE thanks to the people who didnt vote for them, i got 3000 other votes anyway, many thanks to those who did sign my petition.

User currently offlineA330DAT From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 469 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1215 times:

You would think this is Afghanistan. Unreal

User currently offlineOvelix From Greece, joined Aug 1999, 639 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1212 times:

A330Dat

Pity they can't bomb there too....

Kostas


User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1209 times:

These people knew that what they were doing was illegal; a number of them (and in particular Paul Coppin) had been arrested on numerous occasions.

They broke they law and they got nicked for it.

Sod them. Why should they be treated any different to any other lawbreaker - would we be making this fuss about someone who had been arrested for theft, burglary, rape, fraud, etc?

If you can't do the time - don't commit the crime!  Pissed  Pissed


User currently offlineKONSTANTINOS From Greece, joined Jun 2001, 389 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1189 times:

Ceilidh wrote:"These people knew that what they were doing was illegal; a number of them (and in particular Paul Coppin) had been arrested on numerous occasions."

Spies or no spies they broke the law. One law that you get panished for in many countries and in some you even get shot. Why cant Greece have a few laws as well ? She has many but most of them are broken and nothing is done. Things here in Greece are infact so free that one can do what ever he or she pleases. Infact what we need in Greece are stronger and harsher laws and actions.

Thank you very much indeed.


User currently offlineDelboy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 725 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1184 times:


Whoa there.

They are not free until someone comes up with the nine grand bail money.

Let's not forget that 'alledgedly' Paul Coppin is a serial law breaker when it comes to this hobby. I doubt very much that he will escape punishment when they go to trial next year.

Look on the bright side, they get another chance to get some numbers next year!! (English humour, maybe poor taste but there you go).


User currently offlineKONSTANTINOS From Greece, joined Jun 2001, 389 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1174 times:

"Look on the bright side, they get another chance to get some numbers next year!! (English humour, maybe poor taste but there you go)."

What you said could be very true. Good one.

I think that there will be nothing next year. It will be put in the permanent filing cabinet.


User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1174 times:

Delboy - I suspect that the Daily Mail and/or Stelios will probably come up with it.

I wonder how many Greeks we have languishing in British prisons? Why aren't the Greek papers making as much fuss about them? Could it be that they are, in fact, more civilised than the Brits are and fully understand the rule of law?  Insane


User currently offlineAndyEastMids From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 1005 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (12 years 7 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1159 times:

And now for afters... Every enthusiast in the UK who listens to an air band receiver, whether on VHF or UHF, is technically breaking the law. Lets have the authorities arrest and try everyone they catch with a radio. OK, not a custodial sentence, but a fine and gear confiscated for each and every one none the less.

Come on guys, there's laws and there's common sense. This is the real world, not a fantasy world where spies openly parade around air bases in Greece, or listen to air band radios.

Andy


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