Turkey demands life sentence for Hellenic Air Force pilot

18 May 2016
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Turkish prosecutors sent a letter to Greece’s Supreme Court Prosecutor asking two aggravated life sentences for a Greek pilot who allegedly downed a Turkish F-16 jet in the Aegean in 1996 using a missile during an engagement on October 8, 1996, as Hurriyet reports.

During the incident, generally attributed to an accident, the Turkish plane fell and its Turkish pilot Nail Erdogan was killed, while his co-pilot was injured but survived.

The incident was referred to as a dogfight and aircraft accident in the legal documents.

Erdogan’s children and lawyer applied to the Greek authorities for filing a criminal lawsuit against the Greek pilot, as Turkish officials submitted a petition claiming that the jet was downed and Erdogan was killed intentionally.

According to the newspaper, Turkish prosecutors demanded that Greek Mirage 200 pilot Thanos Grivas be sentenced to two aggravated life sentences on charges of “voluntary manslaughter” and “actions for weakening the independence of the state.” It also demanded another 12 years for “vandalizing the jet.”

The lawyer for Erdogan family, Mehmet Emin Keles, said the trial would be held in Turkey unless the Greek authorities take action, due to a judicial assistance agreement with Greece.

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