Full moon over Alexandroupolis, the small town where the men were arrested. Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/TT
Full moon over Alexandroupolis, the small town where the men were arrested. Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/TT

Suspected jihadists remanded in custody in Greece

The two men arrested in Greece suspected of terrorist crimes have been remanded in custody, the tabloid Aftonbladet reports.

The two men, 28 and 19 years old, came to Greece from Sweden in the end of January, and were arrested last week with weapons, Syrian money and uniforms in their bags. They are suspected of planning to go to Syria to join the war there. The Greek authorities initially had difficulties in finding a defence lawyer for the men in Alexandroupolis, the little town where they were arrested, but on Monday Menia Polychroni was given the task.

"They still claim that they are innocent and that they were here as tourists. They feel they are Europeans and ought to be able to travel freely, but they are beginning to see the seriousness of the situation and are more worried now," Menia Polychroni told Swedish Television News (SVT).

The remand hearing began Tuesday lunchtime, and according to Aftonbladet the judge decided they were to remain in custody until they can be put on trial.

Their lawyer Poluchroni told Aftonbladet that the two men were "in shock". Earlier she had told SVT that they felt they could explain the contents of their luggage in a satisfactory way and prove they are just tourists.

One of the men is a Swedish citizen, while the other has a residency permit in Sweden, but originates from Yemen. None of them have asked for help from Sweden, SVT reports.

Police sources tell the news agency AP that the 28-year-old is a known jihadist, who was convicted in bosnia-Hercegovina in 2007 for planning terror crimes. He served parts of his sentence there before being transferred to Sweden to serve out the remainder, where he was released on probation in 2011.

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