On December 13, an article was published on kathimerini.gr - a highly respectable newspaper in greece.The article is particlarly interesting as it shows the involvement of the Greek secret service in the case. Here is the full translation.
*Espionage and a video game in military camps on Lemnos*
Every day there are new episodes of the thriller of two Czechs Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar who were charged with espionage on Lemnos. Both men aged 28 and 33 were arrested on 9 September by police officers from the Myrina police district and have been since detained in a jail on Chios. They have been charged with espionage because they were photographing military objects on the island [of Lemnos]. Both men oppose the charge and claim that they are employees of Bohemia Interactive, the makers of a computer game ARMA 3 that takes place on Lemnos and the island Agios Efstratios.
According to information Kathimerini the move to arrest the men has begun after 3rd headquarters of counterintelligence EYP (National Intelligence Service) sent a bulletin to the local authorities, also included in the court files, notifying them in detail about the arrival of the two Czechs, where they will be staying and when they plan to leave. It also alerted them to the fact that both foreign citizens intent to photograph military objects on the island. From the point of their arrival until their arrest 6 days later both Czechs were monitored by a team from EYP. In the end they were arrested by police officers from the Myrina district who also confiscated their cameras, one notebook, external hard drives and other electronic devices. Both men claimed they went to Lemnos on holiday after spending two years of intensive work on an Internet game - [military] simulator ARMA 3. The said game takes place on Lemnos and the island Agios Efstratios and depicts a conflict between the militaries of NATO and Iran.
The court file indicates there are 14 photographs incriminating the two Czechs. “It is 7 photographs and 7 frames from a video which show military objects on the island,” told [Kathimerini] the attorney of the two men Mr. Panagiotis Eleftheriou. Even though photography of military objects without permissions is a misdemeanor, the investigator and procurator begun prosecuting the arrested men for the crime of espionage.
According to our information several days after their arrest the headquarters of EYP sent Czech intelligence service a request for detailed information about the identity and employment positions of the two arrested. Instead of a reply, the chief of Czech intelligence service visited Greece to meet his Greek counterpart Theodoros Dravillas.
According to court files of the case the arrested had special electronic devices, a fact that (according to the procurator and investigator) refutes their claim that they were to Greece on holiday. Another aggravating circumstance is said to be the fact that the owner of Bohemia Interactive, a company where both men are employed, owns shares in another company that makes computer simulations for military training. The said entrepreneur was summoned by court and deposited a witness statement in the case. Also, it seems that a proof has surfaced that both Czechs sent photographs daily to an unknown person using their computer. This information is is refuted by their attorney.
The case of Ivan and Martin has caused a wave of reactions in the Czech Republic. On 27 October 150 people took part in a protest in front of the Greek embassy in Prague where they requested the release of the two men. Czech Euro MP Jan Březina and his Greek colleague Mrs. Niki Tzavela also took interest in the case.
Further, according to information published in Czech press the Prime Minister Petr Nečas spoke about the case with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras near the end of the summit that took place on 22 and 23 October in Brussel. Handwritten letter from both detained men was placed on the website wwww.helpivanmartin.org (with a single focus of getting the two men released).
Last Friday their attorney has handed the investigator on Lemnos a requested for their release.
SOURCE : http://news.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_ell_2_13/12/2012_504800
This is absurd, truely absurd. And to think this comes from a “journalist”. Absolute propaganda, if you ask me.
Garbage. A failed state looking for bail money, that is what this will end up being. A travesty, and no one should visit Greece again.
Erm being Greek, I can say that there is a pretty HUGE error in the translation. Where it says “7 frames” it should say “7 SEGMENTS or EXCERPTS”, there is a HUGE difference between a video frame, which lasts only a fraction of a second, and a video segment or excerpt that can last anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes. The Greek words used were “αποσπάσματα από βίντεο” run this through Google Translate and see what comes up. Hint, it’s not “7 frames”… I love how everyone keeps talking about Greece basically ransoming these guys when they have been denied bail TWICE… Hint, if our “failed state” was after bail money, don’t you think that their release and bail requests would have been accepted instead of denied? It’s common sense really…
In anycase this situation is rather stupid. I live in Cyprus (the stupid country that worships Greece even though Greece does absolutely bugger all for it) and the people who come from Greece are rather paranoid of Turkey. In any case I don’t see why whoever apparently “hired” these guys to be “spies” didn’t use google maps on which you can see the entire island. Heck all of Greece…
The journalists just stated some facts about the way EYP worked on this case. The truth is nobody knows anything about this case except a few officials and the guys themselves, so it is funny to see some people on the internet who just read a few articles on gaming sites or whatever, act like they know the absolute truth and blame Greece for everything. I feel sorry for their families and wish this is a big missunderstanding and is over soon, but everyone needs to realise that we have no information on the situation except from a few reports from biased sources, sometimes in their favor (gaming blogs) and sometimes against them (defence-related sites). The court is now to decide the outcome of this and the collaboration of the two countries is of great importance, all we can ask is for them to be treated well and have a fair trial that will solve this matter. But remember that just because you played arma a few times or read something from the other side of the world, doesn’t mean you can have such a full and harsh opinion on what is propaganda or not and on they way this was handled by Greece.
Cameras for espionage pictures? I’m looking right above it from a public satellite map!
And my condolences for you BLaze for your country robbing all of your wallets…