Plane spotters are no spies

I just posted the article Plane spotters are no spies.

Although this is not CD Freaks related, I would like to ask your attention for the following.

A very close friend of mine, with whom I have a very good friendship for over 22 years, has been…

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I hope your friend get released soon because its to crazy for words what the greek goverment is doing. I whis him,the other plane spotters and there familys strongness in these days.

I live in Greece and the subject has caused much talk. Lets get some things strait: 1. In every part of the world if someone is caught photographing a military installation is arrested. In Cyprus when you pass by the English base there and slow down below a limit they arrest you… This of course is done to prevent photographing. 2. There wasn’t an airshow that day. Here in Greece we don’t have airshows at all. We have 5 diferent types of airplanes, hardly a spectacle and the entrance of civilians in the bases is forbiten. The Airforce museum is in a military base so it is not open to the public. These are the laws and we have to respect them. 3. According to the greek police with them was found tapes of conversations between the air control tower and military aircraft, something that is rather suspisious. 4. Also there was confirmation that the days before the insident they where caught taking photos in an other military airport and were warned to stop. 5. Today was revealed by the british newspaper Observer that a member of the group, Mr Paul Coppin, was invited in Turkey a few months ago as a guest journalist of the Turkey military. As you will probably know Greece and Turkey don’t get along very good for the last 100 years and this looks very suspisious to us. 6. The intervension of politicians in the work of justice is called, at least here in Greece, obstruction of justice. Does it has in England or Holland an other name? 7. Complaining for the prison contitions is a noble cause and very futile. What you would expect from the greek prison system, to treat them better because they are from England or Holland, to leave some other prisoners go( or kill, if you are in this sort of justice) in order to make room for them, to build overnight a new prison for them? One last thought. I’ve read in BBC that there is talks to create a new anti-terrorist law which allows the detainsion of terrorist suspects without trial. I hope this law never passes but think for one moment that would had happened if this law has in effect in England. The suspision of espionage would be enough to get someone in an English prison( with much better contitions, roomier cells, cable tv, folk dances every Sunday night etc.) without the posibility of a trial. No more complains about the speed of justice there will be no justice at all, at least for a few months-years. Someone will argue that plane spotting is hardly a terrorist act. The answer is, take a camera and some recording equipment and go to the nearest US base. Start taking photos and wait for someone to see you. After the events of 11th September,you will be extremely lucky if you can survive the process.

point 1:
You won’t get arrested here in Holland if you take photographs of Militairy bases.
point 3:
You say: “According to the greek police…”, sorry don’t them.

add “Believe” between don’t & them. (sorry) :stuck_out_tongue:

Such an elaborate reply deserves a elaborate response from me. Let me start off by saying it isn’t so much the fact they got arrested, I can even understand that from the Greek point of view (though I still think it is ridiculous). But what strikes me most is the way this is dealt with by the Greed authorities. The whole process is going very slow and no one is ready to take a formal stand. The group has not been charged with anything so far and has been asked to sign all kinds of documents in Greek without any translation present (I believe from international law that is illegal). To address your points chronologically: 1) Plane Spotting is very common in Greece and the Netherlands, you will find several people near airstrips all the time, trying to spot that plane they were looking for for a long time. Besides, everybody keeps saying that photographs have been taken. This is NOT true. The photographs found on the rolls of film did not contain any pictures of planes or buildings, this was also confirmed by the Greek judge (of the lower court) 2) Whether there was an airshow or not I don’t know, what I do know is that they were invited to come. The invitation was not a figment of their imagination, but they have a written invitation. 3) One of the spotters did have a scanner, that wasn’t a smart thing. Whether the conversations were taped I don’t know, I did not find that anywhere in any publication so far (or I simply overlooked it, don’t want to rule out that possibility) 4) They were indeed arrested prior to that second arrest, but they were released that same day because things were in order. So it is possible for Greek authorities to admit they were wrong, why can’t they do it now? 5) As a plane spotter who is a journalist as well it is very common to be invited to various airshows all over the world. The feud between Turkey and Greece makes this a suspicious event, but in the eyes of the Greek authorities everything seems suspicious now. Suspicion of one person does not give the Greek authorities the right to keep a whole group imprisoned. 6) The high politicians are most of all showing their concern and explain that plane spotting is very common and not espionage. Next to that they are trying to persuade the Greek authorities to speed up the trial, for it is taking a very long time (unnecessarily long). They do respect the autonomy of the Greek judicial system (but is must be said that it is becoming harder and harder to respect it by the day). 7) There are some international guidelines for imprisonment that I think are being violated here. What to Greek standards may seem normal, might not be from an EU viewpoint. Greece is an EU member state and should live up to that fact. Greece is, relatively, profiting most from their EU membership when it comes to subsidies and alike, they can at least put in some effort to live up to EU standards. Again, NO pictures of aircrafts of buildings were taken. This whole process is taking way too long, after three weeks they have not even been charged with anything, completely left in uncertainty. That is what upsets me most in this case!

Greek government = idiots as usual. They invent things from nothing. They think that they are masters of the universe and they can f…k anyone. Different people from ancient greeks. Similar to a dictatorship. They don’t respect human rights. :frowning:

I hope your friend is released soon and this entire dispute is put to rest. The court systems are too messed up and take entirely too long to do anything (more $$ to lawyers maybe?). I myself have been processed through the US Court system (not for an illegal act and I am not going to explain what happened either) and it took entirely too long. Everyone likes to delay everything to another day and not get to the point. I know what being imprisoned and waiting forever for justice to be finally come to light is like and so I pray for your friend, as this is a terrible, unfair event that is being played upon your friend.

Any trial should only take a resonable amout of time. Taking too long indicateds that they have nothing to charge them with. They are only being kept so they can be charged with someting that can be made to “stick”. On the other hand civilians should stay out to military business. If you are interested in military, join it. Always have proper clearance when it comes to government and military (and even corporate) places. Some interests are worth the effort, others are not. There are many things I would like to, but I don’t since some are not leagal, some are not moral and for other I would be beaten up. There are those things people wish they could do but can’t and in some cases should not. Military or commercial plane spotting, after the events of September 11, in New York, people should be more careful about planes, airports, ETC.

Landok: Your such a dick… Your comments are as if some Greek girl fucked you up the ass with a dildo while a Greek guy shoved his cock down your throat… Grow up, no one here is bad mouthing the Greek race… As a Greek, I totally agree that they are being held way to long in the court system without charges… Here in NY one has 72hrs to see a judge from the time they are arrested or the charges get dropped… 3 weeks is a long time especially in conditions like those in Greece… I hope they get out soon…

We are two Greeks who would like to offer their own opinion on this subject. The first thing we would like to do is to answer to “Da_Taxman”. We will not give you an answer to all of your points. We would like to state our own opinion on your point No 7. We are assuming -for it is not clear to us- that you are British, since one of these “guys” is a friend of yours for over 22 years now. If that’s the case, we are indeed wondering on what basis you “judge” the Greek judicial system, since you have never lived in Greece! We are not saying it is the perfect system! We ourselves are not happy with it at all. But, we humbly believe, that you yourself don’t have the right to judge it, for the aforementioned reason, plus, you don’t have the right to say that “Greece is, relatively, profiting most from their EU membership when it comes to subsidies and alike” and that "they can at least put in some effort to live up to EU standards. " Pointing out again, our assuming that you are English: You speak about someone profiting the most of his EU membership and that this someone should put in some effort to live up to the EU standards, while the “YOU” yourselves deny ostentatiously to comply with the EU standards (for example, everyone knows your ostentatious lack of cooperation with the EU economical standards… The only country in 2002 NOT to have the EURO? At least as far as we know…). The fact that we are a small country does not mean that anyone coming to Greece has the right to do what he wants like a “conqueror” !!! There are laws in every country and anyone who wants to go to that country, can only go, as long as he respects and accepts these laws! “Not knowing” them, is not an excuse. We are talking here about INTERNATIONAL MILITARY REGULATIONS. What happens over there with this case, the Greek government has NOTHING to do. To be honest with you, we ourselves don’t like our government at all!!! But we believe that it simply is 100% UNFAIR to speak about our government while it does not have anything to do with this case! Last time we checked, we didn’t find any military base on this planet that can be characterised as “FREE”. It is called “MILITARY BASE” and it is not a fun-fair! To answer to the guy behind the name “landok”. Well, we do not know your age, but we humbly believe it should be around 15, mentally at least. We will say the same thing to you, as to “Da_Taxman”. You haven’t been to Greece, you haven’t lived there, so, don’t speak about its government, the way you know it from your little telly and neighbourhood’s newspaper. We will not say our own opinion on which countries consider themselves as the “masters of the universe” and that feel like “f**king” (as you yourself pointed out) with everyone. You speak about dictatorship, well, you should visit Turkey. To close this, we would like to make the following assumption… “Yep, we guess the STRONG ONES always have the point…”

As I have lived for 5 years in Britain and for 18 in Greece I think I can say my opinion about the matter. In Greece I was living next to a military base (Suda) which is one of the biggest in Greece. There also is a USA military base. The only one in Greece. Now the experiences: 1) I have been fishing with my boat in about 500 metres from the Greek military base. A patrol boat comes and checks everything on me (from ID to my fish) warn me not to come close to it again and sets me free (this has happened 4 times). 2) I am about 200 meters from the USA military base. I am having pique nique with my family and a patrol comes to us and orders us to get out of there immediatelly!(THis was on GREEK land damn it) We protest and they say that they have the right to arrest us if we don’t leave immediatelly. 3) There are big signs around military areas warining people that taking photos, notes etc is prohibited and if arrested can go to jail!This is not the case only in Greece! —> 4)In Scotland going by a military base signs warn visitors not to take pictures or they will be arrested. I have a photo of this sign (I know it was illegal but believe me I didn’t spy:) 5) I was arrested in Britain for something irrelevant and was held in jail under very bad conditions (I was asking water for 8 hours and nobody was coming!) No toilet, a 2 inches matress on the floor, no heating no nothing!I was latter found not guilty so stop these stupid stories about the nice prisons of UK and the bad conditions in Greece. 6) To the guy that says that in USA people are released in 3 days if no charges are brought against them. I think you are talking about another country. Right now 650 people are held for more than a month with no charges against them just because they happen to be muslims and arabs! Hundrends of human and prisoner’s violetions take place in USA every day but of course your media never tell you about it!Even UN, human’s rights watch, International Amnesty place USA way lower conserning human right in comparison with Greece. So, wake up and realise that the extremists that are in power in USA (as Jesse Jackson said) are the biggest threat to the world right now! Thank you very much and I hope your friends are found not guilty. (In the trustable UK legal system there are 100,000 pedophiles and people who have killed others being drunk, walking around free! so give me a break)

grnik: You said: “6) To the guy that says that in USA people are released in 3 days if no charges are brought against them.” I said: “Here in NY one has 72hrs to see a judge from the time they are arrested or the charges get dropped.” Very different from what you claim I said… Ohh BTW: I work in the judicial system and I can say that the mutts that are in there get food and water, have a working toilet and are treated pretty fairly for being prisoners. As far as what your talking about which is what happens when someone is arrested by the military, I cannot comment The judicial system for the military is very different than that of the regular Federal/State/Local systems…

I am already late for work, so for now a brief reply and a longer later today. I would like to say to slatan that I am not British, I am Dutch. Patrick Dirksen and me go back to Kindergarten. We have known each other since the age of 5 (and are both 27 now, thus knowing each other for 22 years). So I guess that changes your opinion towards me (but does not change your opinion towards England)

I have been in Greece before. Actuelly several times. Very nice country. I’m sorry, but i have to say that when you deal with the Greece authorities you might aswell deal with criminals. They deliver the same feel of security as the Criminels. Atleast it is what i feld when i was too suspicius on a street, (from a Greek government point of view). Maybe they should try to be less paranoid.

Well, in USA the people (the 2 million people to be more exact of who 85% are blacks and hispanophones) apart from bread and water and a clean toilet (which is very doubtable as long as the jails in USA have space for half the prisoners!) occasionally also receieve a bullet in their heads before being arrested because police THOUGHT they looked suspicious, also get kicked and beaten for being blacks, and sometimes they even get executed and afterwards found non-guilty. I am not suggesting that if you leave in a terrorizing state, country you don’t have the right to critisize others but I just try to bring the attention to a place where SOME people believe is the paradise of freedom while it is the paradise of chaos and injustice. -«The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws» Tacitus

The main problem at this times seems to be the State Prosucutor who refuses to hand over the files to the committee of three judges. Political pressure is building up, the Greek ambassador in the Netherlands has been summoned by the Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs. Again, it is not the Greek people that are to blame (apart from electing the whole government that instituted the judicial system :wink: ), nor should the autonomy of the judicial system ever be comprimised, BUT when one person (State Prosecutor) is deliberately delaying the proceedings, or a violation of Human Rights/international laws occurs, then every means available should be used to ensure the wel being of those concerned. This has taken too long already, they are clutching at straws. For further discussion I would to invite you to our forum

grnik: You think being a cop in the USA is easy? These are your words "if you leave in a terrorizing state, country you don’t have the right to critisize others but I just try to bring the attention to a place where SOME people believe is the paradise of freedom while it is the paradise of chaos and injustice. " Let me give you a badge and gun, stick you on a footpost in the Bronx or Brooklyn (you know where these places are right?) and by the end of the night if you havent gotten shot at or something thrown off a building at you I will give you my paycheck for a year! I would like to know if you would be that fellow to stand up and tell millions of police officers to sacrafice their safety just to be sure the guy they are stopping doesnt have a gun. I would be the first to knock on the door and tell your wife and kids that you were killed because you werent quite sure the guy had a gun. Better yet why dont you tell the families of police officers killed in the line of duty your ideas? Do you think they would say “What if he didnt have a gun?”. Judging by the way you speak your a synical bastard closed to his idealogies with no comprehension of the judicial system in the United States. You can exercise you freedom of speech but dont blow total garbage out your ass when you have no clue of what goes on in the USA you liberal fuck.