Syr­ian fighter pi­lot tried for es­pi­onage re­turns

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - REGION -

A Syr­ian fighter pi­lot who was de­tained af­ter crash­ing in south­ern Turkey in March has re­turned to Syria af­ter a Turk­ish court re­leased him Fri­day, Syr­ian TV re­ported. The pi­lot, Mehmet Sufhan, faced trial in Turkey charged with es­pi­onage and vi­o­lat­ing bor­der se­cu­rity af­ter he crashed in the bor­der prov­ince of Hatay. Turk­ish me­dia said Fri­day that a crim­i­nal court in Hatay had re­leased him, but that le­gal pro­ceed­ings were con­tin­u­ing. Sev­eral hours later Syr­ian TV re­ported that Sufhan was back in Syria, say­ing his re­turn was the re­sult of “vig­or­ous at­tempts and in­ten­sive ef­forts.” It was not im­me­di­ately clear whether Sufhan would come back to Turkey for his trial, which was set for Oct. 25, ac­cord­ing to Sufhan’s at­tor­ney, Anil Ce­vahir Can. “Sufhan’s re­lease will hope­fully help re­build bridges of friend­ship be­tween Syria and Turkey,” Can added.

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