Ivan and Martin were arrested Sept. 9 near their Hotel at Plati on Limnos. Both are developing the upcoming computer game ARMA 3 by Bohemia Interactive.
Greek newspapers reported that 2 czech employee’s of Bohemia Interactive were arrested and accused of espionage, suggesting they were taking photographs of military installations at Limnos. These statements left the major public to assume that the BI employees were taking photo’s for the upcoming shooter ArmA3 as reference material.
Infact, neither Martin or Ivan were on limnos for work. As Marek Spanel, Ceo Bohemia interactive stated : “The guys visited the island as tourists. Their trip to Lemnos was personal, organized via travel agent, with the single goal of experiencing the place that had inspired the virtual environments of Arma 3, a computer game that they’ve been working on over the past two years.”
Regarding the espionage charges, their lawyer - Panayiotis Eleftheriou - states: The “incriminating” piece of evidence is 14 stills, taken from a video clip recorded with a handheld camera. Amongst these images a depiction of the Limnos airport which is also used by the military. But it’s clear that the cameraman stops the recording once he noticed the signs informing that photography is prohibited.”
Publicly available material
Taking photos and videos of that airport is actually a common thing, we have several short videos taken from planes and helicopters which are clearly showing military installations as hangars and even fighter planes.
Two of them can be seen here:
Also, taking photos at military installations by Soldiers on Limnos and spreading them on the internet is nothing uncommon. So the two are arrested for something every tourist probably does when visiting Limnos, not knowing about the problems he may get into.
Mr. Eleftheriou mentions that the reaction of Greek police at Limnos is likely a result of the island’s strategic location near the Greek-Turkish border, combined with the historically strained relations between the two states.
Also ARMA III has been previously a subject of a minor controversy, when a Greek MP asked the Ministry of Defence (link), if the game could pose a threat to Greece’s national security and the answer was no. The mayor of Limnos, Antonis Hatzidiamantis, protested about the game portraying his island (link).
Since there no reports of other tourists being detained for taking photos, there is reason to believe that the two detained developers were observed since they arrived on the island and the local government is trying to make an example out of them for using the island in the video game.
As far as we know, Ivan and Martin are temporarily detained. Their lawyer has appealed against this decision, but there is no court judgement yet upon this.
And with the Greek justice system on strike until at least October 20, there is only very little chance they get a court hearing anytime soon.
What can be done to speed up things in this case? check the help page
It can’t be that two innocent foreigners which came as tourists, as guests, to Limnos are thrown now into jail for weeks and months to come.
The the Greek Penal courts which were on strike until 20 october, have decided that the strike continues untill November 10.
According to the lawyer : On that same day (10nov), they will get the decision of the council of the judjes regarding their appeal.
Martin and Ivan, will then be held in prison for 62 days.
let them free
Pull the stick out of your asses and let these free men come home.
Get your shit together, Greece.
I’d like to visit Greece, but I’m scared.
This is ludicrous
I do not want to pay any more the debts of the Greek government!!! And let the Greece plays spy games…
This is a horrible move on the side ofthe Greek government. You won’t accomplish anything with this, other than robbing innocent (yes, innocent!) men of their freedom.
This is a nonsense so I wish to read about the two programmers liberation soon. Aso the Greek should properly compasate for having jailed both citizens for so long before the trial.
As a ARMA fan, I also hope that this unfortunatelly inciden won’t delay the game release date. Hope both things would happen soon. Justice for all.
Wow, Greece is just another place that I’d be worried to visit - on the list with Iraq and Syria. And this from a combat veteran… Any place who’s penal system is this out of whack. I mean, we have some crazy ideas of justice in the U.S., but this is insane.
i dont think that they are spys but they are caught photoshooting great military positions (Exocet places-Anti-Naval missiles ) and also they are signs in the hole island that photos are not allowed so in my opinion the dissicion for putting them in jail is right….but lets see it from another perpsective if they where photoshooting a patriot location in USA what it would be their lucks now ???
What does this have to do with the U.S? these men are Czechoslovakian…
150 days for just taking some pictures of an “secret military base” that doesnt even exist? Is this democracy for you? What about our awesome politicians that stole over billions of euros from us and aren’t even arrested? And its suddenly patriotism, over photos that can see anyone through google earth ffs, just c’mon…! Greece government, police, they are all dirty and trying to corrupt the country with more of their nonsense crap…
“And this from a combat veteran” U r a soup hero! Greece! r u a moron? What r u?
SET THEM FREE TO COMPLETE THEIR LAG SIMULATORS!
stop your crazy shit.
Free this people, thanks, stop be idiot, greece.
Greece : nobody will attack you with weapons, they will destroy by the debt … enclose bankers and politicians, not the game developers;)
I can’t believe people actually believe this.
This is a horrible move on the side ofthe let them free
Greek government. You won’t accomplish anything with this, other than robbing innocent (yes, innocent!) men of their freedom.
Justice, where is the justice?
I read one of the links talking about how the mayor of Limnos doesn’t want the game to be taken place in Limnos due to reputation. I think through this big situation ALL of Greece is gaining a bad reputation more then if they would use the land in the game. And not only is Bohemian Interactive fans informed on this, just about every PC gamer knows about the situation which is wrecking Greece’s reputation every minute until they let Ivan and Martin out. I also think if they put Limnos in the game then it will actually make the island better, it would kind of advertise the island and would make gamers want to actually visit the place they played in, I sure would want to go visit Chernarus (not real but is based on a real area in Czech Republic) but I do not have the money to visit Europe. Start making sense Greece and let Ivan and Martin out and let BI make the god damn game already.
Cannot vacation in a country that violates human rights. Greece surely has better uses of their time and money then in holding gamers in indefinite detention. How far Greece has fallen.
Maybe The Greek government doesn’t realize yet how damaging this will be, News of this and other incidents is reaching a lot of people, right now I view Greece with a degree of horror and I certainly won’t go there for holiday until these guys are re-leased, and other injustices against tourists die down too,.
At the big debt Greece is able to be still aggressive!
Yeap! In all the countries of the world!
You can even view the “Hangers” from Google maps… Going to arrest Google now???
Help you the God guys! I think it does not prevent at your job above the project
ArmA 3 but only it will be even better on pleasure to us!
[...] Die Kaution soll 5000 Dollar pro Person betragen haben. Laut aktuellen Berichten haben die Familien von den beiden Mitarbeitern das Geld aufgetrieben und bezahlt haben. Konkrete Details sind zurzeit nicht bekannt. Vier Monate befanden sich die beiden Entwickler in Griechenland im Gefängnis. Durch Streiks der Justiz wurde der Prozess gegen die beiden hinausgezögert. Sie wurden auf 20 Jahre Haft wegen angeblicher Spionage auf der griechischen Insel Lemnos. Weitere Informationen [...]
” Spionage auf der griechischen Insel Lemnos”
U Nazi i see the way you wrote Griechichen.
We should ask your ass to pay for letting u use our words math music and everything u take for granted and be SO an thankful! Still owe us 1/2 trillion from the lone u toke forcibly and never paid back! Not to mention 375000 deads by HUNGER only in Athens! U DO IT AGAIN PPL STARVING NOW AND SUICIDE BY THOUSANDS!
“Since there no reports of other tourists being detained for taking photos” THIS IS LIES! Do u want prof?
“were observed since they arrived on the island and the local government is trying to make an example out of them”DID AUTHORITIES FORCE THEM TO FILM PROHIBITED AREAS?
Their “jobs” r very convenient cover for espionage! Isn’t it?
“Limnos is likely a result of the island’s strategic location near the Greek-Turkish border” WHAT?
JAIL and TIME is right for them, AGENTS! on a extremely important installation! THEY KNEW WHERE THEY PHOTOGRAPHED AND WHAT! That was their reason to visit there!
Their “company” is probably owned by TURKISH MIT intelligence.THEY HAVE TO BE INDITED TO! It’s not a GAME you morons! Turks have killed thousands in Cyprus in ’73 and millions during the beginning of century! DO U KNOW GENOCIDE? Look at Armenians-Pontus Greeks!
Greek’s should have just shot em. They’ll never be in court again for their crimes.