Bohemia Vs Greece: Jailed ArmA Devs Refused Bail

By Nathan Grayson on November 17th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

Things have to get worse before they can get better. It would seem, however, that the universal rules of life forget to apply that second part to the case of ArmA III developers Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar. They’ve now been imprisoned in Greece for nearly 70 days, and their recent attempt to post bail was completely unsuccessful. So then, what’s next? At this point, it’s looking like a trial is inevitable. And in the event that the Greek legal system treats Buchta and Pezlar as well as the Greek prison system, they could be facing up to 20 years of jail time.

Back in September, Buchta and Pezlar were arrested on charges of espionage for allegedly snapping photos of a Greek military based while on holiday in Limnos. However, they claimed to have done no such thing, and Bohemia corroborated that by noting that ArmA III’s rendition of Limnos is a few steps away from completion. As such, there’s no need for further reference materials.

That argument, however, has not swayed the Greek authorities, who have kept Buchta and Pezlar under lock and key even longer than usual due to a strike. Meanwhile, the pair has publicly stated that conditions are quite harsh, and a statement from their parents makes it sound like things have only gone downhill in recent weeks. “Our boys, they no longer tell us that it’s alright, that they are holding it together,” they said in the (translated) statement. “During the phone call they basically told us one thing: ‘Mom, dad, please save us.’”

RPS’ legal crystal ball on this one, meanwhile, remains fuzzy. On one hand, there’s precedent for this. Specifically, two Dutch and twelve British plane-spotters were arrested on similar charges in 2001. After being detained for an equally absurd amount of time, they were ultimately found guilty. Thankfully, though, the verdict was eventually overturned in an appeal. So there’s hope yet, but it’s a dim and flickering sort.

I’ve reached out to Bohemia and the Czech Embassy for comment. I’ll let you all know as soon as I hear back.

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247 Comments »

  1. mrmalodor says:

    Greece has never been one of my favorite countries, but this whole unnecessary fiasco just makes me dislike it more and more. They’re in debt up to their necks and they spend government money on bullying tourists? Fucking assholes. What a shame that they got bailed out. Greece should’ve been left to rot.

    • DeVadder says:

      I was writing a long and elaborate answer about how it is stupid to oversimplify things like this and so on and so forth.
      But it occured to me, that this is by far the worst place to discuss (if what you said can be called ‘discuss’) issues like this.

      Just one quick reminder. ‘Greece’ and the Greek are not a single person.
      In fact, those are millions of people. Among them are in no particular order: Nice people, Assholes, intelligent people, stupid people, liberal people, people who are thankful for the bailout, people who blame their countries bad state on the rest of europe, people who blame their countries bad state on lizardmen from Planet X, sane people, people who just want to make ends meet, people who have never heard of these two developers, people who mindlesly follow the word of the law (regarding pictures of millitary instalations), people who oppose the law, people as narrow-minded as yourself, people who consider themselves more european than greek, people who do not care either way, charitable people, narcistic people…
      You get the picture. ALL FUCKING KINDS OF PEOPLE.

      • ukpanik says:

        Stop trying to spoil our knee jerk reactions.

        • pantognost says:

          funny thing is that in every military installation in Greece they have that big poster in greek and english that says that photographs are prohibited. Limnos, the island the two lads were arested, is a frontier island right next to Turkey, Greece’s major antagonist in diplomatic and military matters. They went there unsolicited and simply broke the law. Now you may not care about the law in Greece but the poor people of Greece do. I challenge every one of the snide posters here to go to a U.S. military base, unannounced, and unescorted in order to photograph the installations. Go ahead. do it. Oh for real fun go do that in an Israeli base. Game designers or not, they behaved at least suspiciously. What was gonna happen if ARMA III had the barracks building 100 feet off of its real place? Was it gonna break immersion? None would know anyway! It has already been mentioned about their links to several army organizations due to selling them professional firefight simulators. Is Turkey a client?

          As for the whole, Greece is evil and should rot, well, you do realize, that you just condemned a whole country, going so far as to call them all “fucking assholes” because a couple of game designers broke the law and got arrested for it. I am sure that in Her Majesty’s country, you can just apologize and move on if you break the law…can’t you?

          tldr: they broke the law, they are paying the price. Get a grip!

          • Milky1985 says:

            ” I challenge every one of the snide posters here to go to a U.S. military base, unannounced, and unescorted in order to photograph the installations.”

            Issue here is that (from teh information I have read so far on this) is that this is not what they were donig, they took some pictures from some miles away and the base was in the shot. Its not like they walked into the base with their cameras out.

            And i think people don’t condem greeecegreece but this is one of many things that the country has done recently that is annoying people from other countries, you make it sound as if this is the first tiem greece has ever been in the news. The whole needing a massive bailout due to going basically bankrupt and as such causing a massive dip int he global ecomony due to shaky markets might still be on a few peoples minds, especally as they may be about to get another one.

      • Soulstrider says:

        I really wouldn’t bother, this kind of discussions are all around the internet, why ruin RPS with them.

        • DeVadder says:

          Agreed. But i did not want that first comment to let go uncommented like that.
          I suggest this thread to be deleted, tbh.

      • Jenks says:

        Is that you, Dr. Seuss?

      • Valkyr says:

        Thank you.

      • Lemming says:

        This qualifier shouldn’t need to be said. Unless someone starts throwing around racial slurs I think we can assume that when people say ‘Greece’ relating to these articles, it’s shorthand for the Greek State, not individual Greeks or the Greek people as a whole. Otherwise, what they say wouldn’t make any fucking sense. Unless there are Greeks themselves who are die-hard patriots, I doubt they are particularly happy with how their country is being run either.

        People white-knighting these articles proclaiming racism are really getting on my tits. It’s not racist to think a State is bullshit.

        • DeVadder says:

          But if you ‘leave them to rot’, that might have some bad influence on the people themselves. I am not really calling him a racist, just that he oversimplifies the matter. He basically says: We do not like what you did here (‘you’ ,means whom? Greece? The guy who arrested them? The people who made the law on wich they got arrested?) so we cut the bailout.’
          However, in reality, the decision about sending billions of euros some way is not made that way. And it would certainly hurt many of the people in Greece. Or help them, who knows, that is a complicated question. More complicated than ‘I never really like Greece.’.

          • Stromko says:

            Being left to rot by Europe actually worked out pretty well for Iceland. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/world/europe/icelands-economy-is-mending-amid-europes-malaise.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0

            Iceland had to let their biggest banks fail because they had no other choice, and instead focused on helping businesses and taxpayers directly while maintaining government services. Greek and much of the rest of the EU has taken what can best be referred to as the opposite stance. Bail out the banks, austerity for all.

          • Bobzer says:

            That’s because Iceland only has a tiny population of 320,000 people, their debt was a drop in the ocean and was actually payed by the British taxpayer as a lot of British people had been sold pensions in Icelandic banks. One of the reasons they won’t get EU membership anytime soon (even though they were interested in it before the bailout fiasco) is because the Brits will veto any attempt they make to join.

            They also haven’t had some miraculous recovery, their “bounce-back” was from “most absolutely destroyed economy in Europe” to “relatively shit”.

          • Donjo says:

            The OP didn’t say ‘leave them to rot’, they said ‘Greece should’ve been left to rot.’ Which is a bit different. I read it as implicating Greece, as in a political entity / national framework / legal system. Your knee jerk reaction to a perceived knee jerk reaction is overbearing.

        • Livers says:

          Well of course, Greeks shouldn’t be held responsible for anything ever! This is all the Martians fault! They came from their silly little planet and installed a tyranny in their incredible country. Greece, full of incredible people, that have this weird little habit of not paying taxes or doing every possible trick in the book that enables them to pay less.
          Let’s do something about it, let’s kill the martian dictators and install democracy! Freedom for the oppressed Greeks!

      • Cooper says:

        In addition to that rebuttal; Greece remains one of the better travel destinations in the med if not the EU.

        • Mr. Mister says:

          Mostly fue to historical heritage, not that they have anything interesting to offer for what they are now.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Yeah I don’t know about that.
          You could get arrested for snapping photos… not really a place I’d ever visit.

          • Ich Will says:

            You could get arrested for snapping photos near a military base in (insert any country here) as well, better not go on holiday/live there either.

          • Makariel says:

            In Singapore a guard armed with an assault rifle ran shouting at me, because I happened to hold a camera in my hand while looking in the “wrong” direction. There are quite some paranoid people who wear uniform and seem to enjoy the kind of power it gives them to boss around others.

          • Deadfast says:

            Ich Wil, the trouble is that the top secret military installation they espionage’d was the local civilian airport they landed on. They happened to catch a glimpse (14 frames their lawyer says) of a military hangar somewhere off in the distance.

        • Bobzer says:

          So long as you’re white and wealthy, otherwise you’re a target for Golden Dawn thugs.

      • Kaje says:

        Ok, how about we agree that the Greek government and legal system are huge dicks?

      • Shralla says:

        Yes, but I’m sure the government is full of a bunch of cocks, which I’m sure is what he meant when he said “Greece”.

      • TheSpartan says:

        I was writing a long and elaborate answer about how it is stupid to oversimplify things like this and so on and so forth.
        But it occured to me (that’s occ-u-red, not occurred, btw), that this is by far the worst place to be an asshole on the internet.
        Just one quick reminder. ‘RPS’ and the RPSers are not a single person.
        In fact, those are thousands of people. Among them are in no particular order: Nice people, Assholes, intelligent people, stupid people, liberal people, people who are thankful for the discussion, people who blame their comments’ bad taste on the rest of RPS, people who blame their countries bad state on lizardmen from Planet X, sane people, people who just want to make their wit seen, people who have never heard of these two developers, people who mindlesly make obvious spelling mistakes (should that be ‘millitary instalations’?), people who oppose RPS, people as narrow-minded as myself, the pot calling the kettle black, people who consider themselves more eurogamers than RPSers, people who do not care either way, charitable people, narcistic (oops! was that supposed to be narcissistic?) people…
        You get the picture. ALL FUCKING KINDS OF PEOPLE.

        (On the off chance you’re actually serious, there are much, much worse place to discuss serious business than some random wordpress blog. Your arrogance and contempt might carry more weight if you knew some basic grammar.)

      • jackass00 says:

        Greece is stupid.

      • PopeJamal says:

        Although everything you said is very true, it doesn’t change my decision to never set foot into that god forsaken country.

        I’m sure their country is full of nice, pleasant people, but it is apparently being run by a bunch of first rate assholes. That goes doubly for their prison system. And when it’s all said and done, I’m sure those two guys in jail don’t feel much better knowing that somewhere in Greece, a weekly meeting of nice grandmothers is off having tea.

    • serenader says:

      mrmalodor,
      τη γνωμη σου για τη χωρα μου, τη γραφω στα παπαρια μου, ηλιθιε.

      • ultimafrost says:

        Relax he is just a hater troll, you’re giving him too much of a value.

        • frank3n says:

          I love how Greece assumes they have anything of any real value – worth hiding in a military base, specifically. Yogurt recipes? Sheep shearing techniques? Let those guys go, fer chrissakes!

          • Tritagonist says:

            That’s the thing that gets me, too. What are they hiding? Do we after all this time discover that all of Europe’s, Russia’s and the United States’ high-tech military equipment was actually developed by Greeks on secret bases on tiny islands?

          • Bobzer says:

            Not only that but apparently the only way their enemies can get information on their military infrastructure is to send tourists to take photos of some of a military hanger from the other side of a civilian airport.

      • Zeewolf says:

        That’s all greek to me.

        Now that the joke part is over, isn’t it rather rude to speak greek in an english-language forum? I understand if your national feelings have been hurt and you feel the need to post something about his mother or something, but really?

        • Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

          From my limited understanding of Greek, he’s simply saying “I don’t give a rat’s buttocks about your opinion of my country”. Nothing to get too worked up about.

          And I agree, it’s rude to reply in another language on an English site.

          Edit: FYI, he’s not actually using the phrase “rat’s buttocks”, but the original testicularcentric phrase is not exactly directly translatable.

        • cpt_freakout says:

          Considering the post he’s replying to is already rude, well, he’s just making a point… fire with fire and all that, I guess. Needless, yes, but so was the first comment.

          • Mattressi says:

            Rude to whom? The Greek government? The OP didn’t say anything bad about the Greek people, just their government. If someone has such a love for their government that they’ll take offence when someone ridicules it, they have some serious issues.

            Given the whole “let’s burn the whole country down” thing displayed in the Greek riots, I guess the OP thought it was safe to assume that the Greeks had no love of their government.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Um rudeness is in intent, not what language you use.

          • serenader says:

            if i wanted to offend him, or start a troll war, i ‘d use english. now,
            1. it’s all greek to you,
            2. i feel better and
            3. he ‘s not offended, nor he has the right to.
            so, we re all happy.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Sorry I meant to say that you weren’t being rude. I don’t know what you actually said or your intent.

          • Ich Will says:

            “nor he has the right to”

            Oooh, I missed the class explaining of what rights we have when it comes to feelings. I felt sad after i read your comment, did I have the right to or should I hand myself to the lawyers now?

          • serenader says:

            ichwill,
            i dont know which class you missed, what i know is you missed my point totally. what i meant is:
            “he has not the right to be offended, because he doesnt know the language”. simple as that.
            i doubt his greek is good enough, though it’s probably better than his english.

          • Ich Will says:

            Yeah, you still don’t get to tell people what they have the right to feel, maybe he was offended because you wrote in Greek, maybe he was offended because of your alleged testicle reference, maybe it was your damn user picture that offended him. If he was offended, that is how he feels because of how the chemistry in his brain was affected by your post and no-one get s to tell him it was wrong to feel how he felt or that he has no rights to feel that way – to try to do so is arrogance in the extreme – in your case I’ll put it down to a misunderstanding of the finer points of the English language.

            I will add, just because someone gets offended doesn’t mean what offended them is wrong or needs to be changed etc.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Non, c’est pas grave, tu peux faire que tu veux. C’est un pays libre.

        • Dr I am a Doctor says:

          Tylko jeśli jest się gigantycznym (opcjonalnie amerykańskim) dzieckiem które nie akceptuje istnienia innych kultur

          • jackass00 says:

            That has nothing to do with knowledge about different cultures. It’s about having manners and not being rude to other people taking part in the conversation by saying something that they can’t understand.

    • User says:

      So…
      1) Create exact 3d representation of a nation’s most critical military installation for a game.
      2) Ignore suggestions that this is not a good idea.
      3) Don’t check with the authorities.
      4) Incur wrath of local population.
      5) Go to said military installation and take photographs.
      6)?????
      7) Profit!

      • OpT1mUs says:

        Exactly.

        But no, GREECE SUCKS MAN #YOLO.

      • utzel says:

        1) Create 3d representation based on publically available info of an island for a game (but not 1:1 and instead altering it to suit the game). I guess the “most critical military installation” seems like a bit of a stretch with it being part of the civilian airport.
        2) Ignore suggestions (a single post somewhere on the official forums) that this is not a good idea.
        3) Don’t check with the authorities. Because, see Nr. 1. Then it was checked by the authorities after the mayor of Lemnos told them, apparently they are ok with it.
        To turn it around, I would like to know if the greece authorities checked with BIS?
        4) Incur wrath of local population. (I know about the mayor of Lemnos, please give more info on coverage from greece before the arrest)
        5) Go to said military installation island, because after working on a gameyfied version of it for a year might make you interested to see the real thing, and take photographs, as any tourist might. Catch a few glimpses of the military part of the civilian airport you arrived at. Get arrested because the mayor is butthurt.
        6)?????
        7) Profit!

        There, fixed it for you.

      • Unaco says:

        @User…

        “1) Create exact 3d representation of a nation’s most critical military installation for a game.”

        Would that be this critical Military Installation? Wow! So top secret!

      • User says:

        @Utzel

        Bohemia creates and sells VBS. A number of nations use it to train their troops.

        When their employees are captured photographing sensitive military installations, you can expect some serious investigation and a great deal of inconvenience at the very least for those caught.

        As to what they were photographing, the prosecution has a very different opinion than that of their defense attorney, which everyone seems to accept as fact, because, dude, they make games.

        We will have to wait for the trial to take place before we can know for sure what they were doing on the island. In any case the “disgruntled mayor finds out Devs are in home town and frames them” isn’t any less absurd than “Devs gathering military info for VBS to be sold to enemy of Greek State”.

        @Unaco

        Satellite info is available to most countries, whether google allows the average Joe to view it or not. Photographs from ground level are a different matter altogether.

        • utzel says:

          Well, they have to tell you what you did, and we know of 14 frames from a video, taken from a public road, showing the military part of the civilian airport. They would surely show more evidence to accuse them of spying, if they have it? They were not “captured photographing sensitive military installations”, they were arrested in their hotel.
          We also have the british and dutch planespotters arrested on a similar case.
          So when the government already checked Arma 3 and apparently were ok with it, this whole thing just stinks of someone taking himself overly serious.

          You can take the “butthurt mayor” as the responsible person with the same grain of salt as your I guess totally serious ??? – Profit post ;)

          • crinkles esq. says:

            Wait, you just said “Arma 3″ and mentioned “being overly serious” in the same sentence, and you *weren’t* referring to Arma 3?? That’s some serious business, when you’re more serious than Arma…

    • spelvin spugg says:

      Their government are currently cuckoo for nazi-puffs.

      I’d just like to throw the possibility out there, though, that Bohemia Interactive are connected to the defense establishment somewhere in Eastern Europe. Many game companies that specialize in military simulators do have defense industry connections.

      I don’t expect that idea to be popular (on a voting comment system it would garner massive downvotes) but I think the possibility is there and it’s very likely that Greece may feel the same way. Further, Greece has the right to protect the security of its military bases– having detailed models of them released in a firefight simulator is just a terrible outcome for them.

      You would have thought the devs would have been smarter than that.

  2. destroy.all.monsters says:

    I wish them luck.

    You’d think the fact that they’re game developers and not spies would make a slight amount of difference in how the Greek authorities see things. Then again logic and governmental agencies (or really any large organization – governmental or otherwise) rarely seem to have much to do with each other.

    • tres says:

      Of course. Because actual spies would never think of, say, shooting a fake movie or doing research for a game to get intel.

      • Valkyr says:

        No, they obviously write down “Spy” on the “Occupation” entry, what were you thinking? Why on Earth would they pretend to have any other job?

        • Hodge says:

          Three men are in a queue at an airport migration desk. The migration officer motions for the first man to approach the desk.

          “Greetings!” he says. “I will need to see your papers, and as a matter of protocol I need to ask you a few questions before I can let you pass.”

          “That’s fine” the first man replies, and hands over his papers.

          “Splendid!” says the migration officer. “First, I will need your full name.”

          “Edward Farnsworth”, says the man.

          The migration officer continues, “And I will need your nationality.”

          “English”, the man replies.

          “And finally, I will need your occupation.”

          “Bank manager.”

          The migration officer examines the papers for a few seconds before stamping them and returning them to their owner. “Thank you!” he says. “Welcome to our country.” He then motions for the second man to come forward. “Before I let you through I will need to ask you some questions. First, your name?”

          “Louis Pierre”

          “Your nationality?”

          “I am a Frenchman, sir”

          “And finally, your occupation.”

          “Breadmaker.”

          The migration officer stamps his papers and says “Welcome! Please enjoy your stay”.

          The third man now approches the desk and again the migration officer asks his questions.

          “Name?”

          “Werner Schmidt”

          “Nationality?”

          “German”

          “Occupation?”

          “No, just a short visit.”

      • destroy.all.monsters says:

        And there’s no such thing as counter-intelligence or diplomacy either I take it.

        I mean really, Bohemia is a known developer and unless there is some evidence that you’re involved with spying for a specific agency it’s more punishing someone for the sake of it rather than for any good reason.

        Now if this had been in Cyprus during the civil war I’d have expected them to be shot.

        Regardless I find it hard to believe that you’re coming in on the side of the Greek government.

        • iniudan says:

          One of the arm of Bohemia do actual military simulator, so they fit into the spy category more then most game dev. The trouble is that the accusation is most likely just revenge from the local government for not liking ARMA 3 game location, has the spy accusation are a bit frivolous, has anyone who would actually want to invade the island can already get good look of the area from Google services, has the military base are not obfuscated. Now imagine what view of the place you got with access to classified spy satellite imagery.

      • Raiyan 1.0 says:

        I think the Escapist has the best comment on the assertion that videoing a civilian airport can constitute as spying.

        http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/7.393997.15946762

  3. Unaco says:

    Shame on Greece.

    • Orija says:

      Shut up.

      • Unaco says:

        Piss off. You don’t like what I’m saying? Try and engage a little more than just saying ‘Shut up’.

        • Orija says:

          Look at the first post, will ya?

          • Unaco says:

            What about it? I hardly need to f*cking look at it. I wrote it. Greece, the Government, the people responsible for this situation, and, to a slight extent, the people of Greece (as they allow this to go on in their name, elected the people responsible etc.) should feel a measure of shame for this situation.

            Shame on Greece.

          • DrGonzo says:

            The Greek people should feel shame for something they had no part of and I doubt 99+% of the population even know about? I’d like to know what utopia you live in that you consider this something the entire population of a nation should feel shame over.

          • Unaco says:

            Yes.

          • Orija says:

            Sheesh, I meant the first comment/thread/post by mrmalodor, right at the top and just below the article.

          • Unaco says:

            I see that now Orija. I apologise if I responded to your response a little harshly. But I would say there is a difference betwixt my post and the 1st poster’s sentiments. I’m not seeking to denigrate, insult or abuse the Greek people… but I feel that they should be aware of, and take some amount of responsibility for the actions of the Government that is supposed to represent them. That way, the Greek people can see that this is wrong, and something can perhaps be done about it, or done to prevent these sorts of things in the future.

          • Poliphilo says:

            Oh that’s rich, the people of Greece ALLOWED this to happen? They’ve been protesting for years now, and as you might have seen on the news, got arrested, shot and beaten for it. And it’s not like they’ve stopped trying. And what have we achieved here then? Banking reform? LULZ, you me and everyone we know are bought and paid for, we just don’t want to admit to our silent consent. These banks and their 30:1 leverage gambling (with our money) are decades ahead of the game. They’ve already got an entirely new arsenal of “complex” financial products ready to destroy people’s lives and livelihoods, while we’re still scrambling to investigate how exactly they destroyed the world economy. And you choose to blame… the people of Greece. Right.

            They also didn’t ELECT these judges, nor ELECTED the military (and the remnant of the previous military dictatorship). You’re throwing blame all over the place, completely unfairly.

            The EU financial elite is more to blame than the Greek people for the Greek debt crises. It was EU finance ministers who turned a blind eye as Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank cooked the books, because they WANTED to believe that Greece at that point had a place in the EU. You’re blaming Greeks for believing in the EU dream? For wanting a better life, wanting to put the past behind them?

            You have to give it to the 0.14%; they really know how to mass-manipulate an entire planet of people. Ask enough people on the street these days who caused the crises, half of them will now answer “Lazy Greeks, innit?”. I guess if we’re really this stupid, it follows that the financiopaths would have no qualms whatsoever using their power and influence to steal all our money.

            http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/07/29/Offshore-Accounts-on-the-Rise-and-Costing-Taxpayers.aspx

            “Since these assets are hidden, we of course have no way of knowing how much the money is earning. I think it is fair to say that Henry’s estimate is more likely low than high.

            On the inequality of financial wealth, Henry says: “By our estimates, at least a third of all private financial wealth, and nearly half of all offshore wealth, is now owned by world’s richest 91,000 people, or just 0.001 percent of the world’s population. The next 51 percent of all wealth is owned by the next 8.4 million, another trivial 0.14 percent of the world’s population.”"

          • Stromko says:

            I feel shame for what my country (U.S.A.) does despite having absolutely no control over it.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            comment above beat me to it, but I take offense to blaming the Greek people because I’m an American and I have absolutely no say in the way the America fucks with the rest of the world.

          • mouton says:

            I take offence when people say “I have no control over my country” when they have their democratic vote.

            Gtfo to dictatorships of yesteryear. No, they were not the same, but luckily for you, you will probably never have to realize how wrong you are.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            lol democratic

    • ultimafrost says:

      So i should be ashamed that 2 people although they were already told from the Greek army that they did not meet eye to eye with their agenda in photographing military installations, and got arrested because they though “Fuck em” and did it anyway? Because Greece for you is a little bitch that every living person can come and whatever he fucking pleases?

      • DrGonzo says:

        No, that’s not what he said at all. Read a bit more about the case, because that’s really not what happened as far as I can tell.

      • Unaco says:

        Yes. No.

        Also… that’s quite a gross misrepresentation of the situation. Greece should be ashamed of this gross overreaction, this bullying, this abuse of their power.

        • CplHellenKeller says:

          I agree. This is horse shit. Yeah it’s Greeces law but international law dictates that the authorities in their home country be involved. Greece is fucked. I’ve been there and they treated me like total shit.

        • ultimafrost says:

          What is abuse of power, how simpler can it be than Devs: “Look, i made a game based on Greek military installations” Greek Army: “I Don’t like this thing, don’t do it again”. Devs “I did it again anyway but i am an tourist now, not a dev!”, Greek Army: “Come with me please…”

          • Unaco says:

            Again, that’s only your impression of the situation… which doesn’t seem to be the impression a lot of others have. Even if that was the correct interpretation, you think people should be locked up for being a little mischievous? A touch cantankerous? That’s an abuse of power, in my book.

            “Look, I made a game based on Greek military installations”

            No. They made a game based on Lemnos Island, using data that is, these days, available to anyone through something like Google Earth. They took extra care to make any Military installations completely fictitious. They did not use actual military facilities in the virtual Lemnos.

            Greek Army: “I Don’t like this thing, don’t do it again”.

            The Greek authorities demanded the game be scrapped, as they felt it threatened security. Despite the game obfuscating actual Military facilities in Lemnos.

            Devs “I did it again anyway but i am an tourist now, not a dev!”

            From all the sources I’ve read, they were photographing a civilian installation, that happens to be used as a military facility. They were not trying to record military facilities.

            Greek Army: “Come with me please…”

            And here is the abuse of power. Locking people up for what seems to be a misunderstanding. Nothing malicious, aggressive or seeking to threaten the Greek nation. It seems like the exercise of power, grossly in excess of the ‘crimes’ committed, in order punish people they feel have done them a wrong.

          • DeVadder says:

            That as well is only your impression. People sometimes lie when they are arrested. Not saying it happened here, possibly this is indeed either the power fantasy of some official or just the mindless mills of jurisdictation.
            But these people could just as well have done something very suspicious, hell, they could even actually be spys from all we know.
            Probably that is not the case, but judging millions of people because of something that may or may not have happened either or the other way, without having access to any facts about the whole thing, is not a nice thing.

            However, i do not think you are a racist or even more asshole than the average, so i will now stop wasting time in this thread.
            Good day sir. o/

          • Deadfast says:

            Let he just quickly fix this for you.

            Lemnos mayor: “You bastards, you turned my peaceful island into battlefield, there will be Turkish tanks driving through my back yard and no tourists will want to visit us ever again! I’ll go tell the parliament and they’ll show you!”
            Greek parliament: “Sorry, nothing wrong with the game.”
            * Several moths later *
            Greek police at their hotel: “You’re coming with us!”

          • Zakski says:

            “several moths later” made me giggle

        • DeVadder says:

          Hmm, what exactly qualifies you to assess the situation? Been there?
          I indeed can understand why you choose to believe these two individuals and not the official version. But that does not mean somebody has to be wrong if he assumes some other course of actions. I would not be surprised if the truth is somewhere in between or just a grave misunderstanding. In that case, yes, we should try and make our voices heart to help clear it. But one sentence, xenophobic (although i understand that might misinterpret you, it appears you mistrust all governments/humans, and i can understand that) answers are not the answer. Never, in fact. Countrys are allways more complicated than that.

          • Phantoon says:

            Governments are not to be trusted, though. The idea that “security” is more important than liberty is still a ridiculous one to me. Furthermore, that people would think that it’s okay to imprison people on possibly trumped up charge is quite literally foreign to me, but I don’t live in a State where I’m guilty until proven innocent.

            The original post should’ve been “Hey, people in Greece, this is pretty bullshit. Take note.”

            Sure, they’re far from the only country to do this. But that doesn’t make any incident of it okay.

          • mckertis says:

            “The idea that “security” is more important than liberty is still a ridiculous one to me”

            It only works if you are fed like a fat pig, and protected , so you are the ridiculous one. If anything happens “for real”, not some pathetic plane-into-building scenario with meager 3000 dead, but SERIOUS CLAMITY like actual war on your soil – you wont be discussing liberty, you’d be dead.

        • pantognost says:

          do you have any idea where this place is? Do you know that it is a few miles off the Turkish coastline?. Do you know that every year turkish armed forces practice amphibious operations up to the seaborders between the countries and then conduct mock landings in their shores simulating an invasion of this island? Do you know that the turkish air force had repeatedly been intercepted trying to photograph this installation? Do you think that what you see on google earth is not censored at the request of the Greek government? Go to the island and see if the airport ends where the photos of google earth show it ending. It takes a Greek to know it but believe it or not, this is the most crucial forward military installation of Greece.
          Now Greece may seem like a beaten up dog to you who should be panting for the dimes of tourists going so far as to let them do as they please with total disregard with the law but Greek people beg to differ. Yes the delay of 70 days is excessive. They should be tried, soon, and be convicted for total and aggravated disregard of the law.
          Why do you think these developers did not go to Israel or to an american military base. Because they thought that Greece would be so disorganized that they would get away with it.
          They shouldn’t.
          Judging the intensity of the reactions and the sensitivity of a military installation for a place you obviously have no idea about, is at best silly. At worse…ah well, it’s not worth it.

    • Poliphilo says:

      While we’re at it, then, shame on EVERY country on earth. How dare they have miscarriages of justice!

      Really, I sympathize with these guys, but just because we’re gamers and they’re game developers doesn’t mean you get a free pass to kick the Greek people when they’re down, even if someone or some people in the legal system seem to have their priorities mixed up in a big way.

      Sticking our heads out the door though, their legal system also recently acquitted a whistle-blower who published a list of 2000 tax-evading douchebags (most of the country’s financial and political elite as it turns out, in fact, the very same people who tried to shuffle this list under the carpet). For a country which until recently has had to suffer multiple military dictatorships and is having their entire public sector gutted by economic hitmen who represent the international banking maffia, I can understand this isn’t a front-page concern right now. If you and your kids’ future was being sold to the lowest bidder in order to pay the very foreign banks that are directly responsible for driving Greece into the ground in the first place, you might be able to sympathize too.

      Really, I very much hope they get out soon, but insulting an entire country for this is completely disproportionate and wrong. People are drawing analogies between Greece right now and Weimar Germany in the 1930s. None of this excuses (any) miscarriage of justice, but it certainly helps to get a bit of perspective as to what’s going on. It’s anarchy, and not the good kind.

      • Unaco says:

        “While we’re at it, then, shame on EVERY country on earth. How dare they have miscarriages of justice!”

        Pretty much, yes. I feel shame for my country and some of the excesses, abuses and general f*ck-ups of our current Government, and the previous Government (not the Government before that, cos I was only a young teen when they were in power). That way, I motivate myself to do something about it, so they don’t get away with them in the future.

        Edit: I’m not trying to insult the entirety of Greece… I haven’t said “F*ck Greece, I hope they rot, they are terrible people” (like the 1st poster, which I see was perhaps what Orija was referring to). But I think, as this is an abuse by the elected Government of Greece, the people they represent should feel some shame for the actions and abuses committed in their name.

        • Poliphilo says:

          But this is exactly my point. The people of Greece, since finding out what was really going on, have *really* given everything towards trying to change things, but the fact that they’re an EU country complicated matters in favour of the ruling financial elite and the culprits! Short of a bloody revolution (which carries the risk of civil war once more) their hands are tied. Perhaps if millions marched on the capital it might… oh.. right, they did that, many times.

          I applaud the shared sense of responsibility you’re trying to instil here, but I accepted my share of responsibility years ago. It was foolish of all of us to buy into the capitalist delusion pre-2008, but this is just the first step. I hope you will agree the next step is not raising awareness or some foggy bullshit, but rather untangling the mess of inequality in the world (starting locally and in every country). I don’t know about you but I am not going to live in a world where 0,14% owns more than 84% of all wealth. And I’m damn sure not going to blame the Greek people for any of this.

      • Stromko says:

        I don’t think the comparison to 1930′s is because of this case at all, I think it’s because of the Golden Dawn party. Like, entirely because of the Golden Dawn party and the things they do. When you have armed thugs running around beating up, intimidating, possibly killing people. When you have a party’s elected official smacking around other party’s officials and blaming everything on minorities, essentially giving marching orders to their thugs on the ground, and oh yeah they happen to have a tremendous amount of influence and support among the military and law enforcement… when they use this to have police stand by and do nothing while gays and minorities are beaten right in front of them … Godwin’s Law no longer applies.

      • Incanus says:

        I heartily agree with this post (Poliphilo one i mean).

        Some people think this is a free pass to be racist against Greeks.

        It doesn’t take much for some to feel allowed to despise entire country, and particularly a country which suffer from economic dictatorship from the Troika. Basically, they are just racists waiting for a good excuse to show up.

        I sincerely hope this two men will be released soon.

        • El_Emmental says:

          Well, if you count the people in the Golden Dawn movement.
          The people who think immigrants are their main problem of Greece.
          The people who see no problem with the control, corruption and tax evasion the greek orthodox church is doing for more than 30 years.
          The people who cheated on their tax.
          The people who lied about having an invalidity to get the state benefits.
          The people who didn’t demonstrated against the massive corruption and the governements.
          The people who think Turkey should be fought.
          The people who think any disputed island issue should be dealed with military threats rather than diplomatic negociation.

          Then you’ve got enough of the greek population to say “Shame on Greece”.

          But go ahead and play the “that’s racist !” card, that way you won’t have to face the real problems. keep in mind that you’re only delaying and worsening the consequences. Blood will be spilled, again.

          ps: Banks screwed you over. Like everyone else in Europe. It’s just that your state was too corrupt and already in a very sorry state to resist the financial assault on the economy.

    • serioussgtstu says:

      Good for you Father! Good for you, that some had the guts to stand up to them at last. Coming over here, taking our jobs and our women and acting like they own the fecking place.

      *Thrashes shopping bags*

      Feckin’ Greeks! I don’t care who we get so long as I get to have a go at the Greeks. They invented gayness!

    • Brigand says:

      This could easily happen in most other countries too. Maybe you should just issue a general shaming on mankind instead, it’d be a lot more fair.

      • Unaco says:

        Again, pretty much yes. Though I don’t think Vanuatu have much to be ashamed of. Or those who live in Dictatorships or Tyrannical regimes, where the ‘people’ have no say, control or influence over the system that represents them.

        • LionsPhil says:

          By your logic, surely “shame on them” for allowing themselves to live under such conditions, rather than inciting a bloody democratic revolution?

          • Unaco says:

            Hint: There are more paths to changing Government than bloody civil wars and revolutions. But I’m not, really, talking about the change. I’m talking about the motivations for change… one of which is seeing your current Government is a bit shit, gives your people a bad name, and needs to be changed.

            Why else do we, generally, like our Governments and civilisations to progress? Is it because we’re perfectly happy with them, they’re just dandy and they make us look like shining beacons of awesomeness around the world? Or is it because we think there are problems with them, as they are currently, and the recognition of those problems motivates us to see things change?

          • LionsPhil says:

            So, yes then.

          • Unaco says:

            No. Not yes.

            NO. Bloody revolution is not the only… Oh f*ck it, I don’t think you can actually read, can you?

  4. Soulstrider says:

    I have a really bad feeling about this. I don’t want to get too political here, but with the lately increasing “bonding” between the greek law enforcement and the more extreme nationalist elements, I don’t think they will let go foreigners who were snooping around military bases as easily as before.

    • mrmalodor says:

      Get your fucking facts straight, they weren’t snooping around any bases. They took one little video clip of a civilian airport. A glimpse of part of a military base just happens to be visible in the background. That’s it.

      • Soulstrider says:

        Dunno I haven’t been accompanying the case, the last time I heard about this there were taking photographs near a base. First time I hear about an civilian airport, though it really doesn’t change anything I said since thats what they are accused of.

      • Sardaukar says:

        Good grief, relax. His statement was sympathetic to the devs and “snooping” is how the authorities see it.

      • ultimafrost says:

        Get your fucking reality straight. When you have been already warned to NOT do something you don’t try to be a smart ass and try to do it again (intentionally or not).

  5. lordcooper says:

    But what if we could talk to the Greeks?

  6. Gorf says:

    Wtf is it with the Greeks and this shit?!
    Do they have an amazingly technologically superior air force that i’m just ignorant of?

    My brother-in-law is Greek and he’ll be visiting us in a couple weeks, so I guess I’ll be releasing some pent up irrational xenophobic anger on his ass. (which btw has nothing to do with the fact that I’m super protective over my sister and always trolling him for fun).

    • mckertis says:

      “Do they have an amazingly technologically superior air force that i’m just ignorant of?”

      No, but they have a part of their territory occupied by a foreign power, and of that issue you are quite ignorant. I’d be on edge too, if part of my country was occupied.

  7. ludde says:

    Yeah, not going to Greece on holiday anytime soon.

  8. bakaohki says:

    Either the more authorian or the more anarchistic a legal system (or how that system is percieved by its citizens), the more a simple photograph poses extreme dangers to the ones taking it. You have a camera on your phone, you have a camera in your hands – the chances that shit may happen to you is higher than not having those instruments with you.

    I remember a couple of years ago I have seen a bus driver stopping a bus and getting down to yell with a tourist, because he took a photo of his face – and knowing the public transport system around here, this could’ve easily ended up with a severe beating; then good luck trying to tell your version of the story to the policeman, who probably does not speak English at all.

    In my opinion the very same story could’ve happened in many other countries, especiall in the US, which is sad and scary in the same time.

  9. Paul says:

    This is really unbelieveable. They imprison two innocent guys, and because their whole government is in shambles, corrupt, incompetent and broken and bankrupt, they suffer for two more months (because of a fucking strike! when they strike because they spent all their and other people’s money!) then they normally would have to….and now they are facing real trial?
    God damn greek government.

    • Kaira- says:

      >”Innocent”

      Well, innocent until proven othewise, that is.

      • Paul says:

        They are treated as guilty ones, without being proven so. Fuck you.

        • Kaira- says:

          According to whom? It would seem that in Greece the law allows detaining people for being suspected, especially considering that they would probably get out of Greece given the chance. It’s unfortunate considering the situation, but it seems sensible to me.

          • Zeewolf says:

            They aren’t spies. I mean, come on! The idea that they might somehow be guilty of espionage is so completely far fetched and unlikely you’d have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe it. What could they possibly find out, from WAY OUTSIDE of the facility, that Greece’s allies – or even enemies – don’t already know?

          • Lemming says:

            Being incarcerated for 70 days in squalid conditions seems pretty much like serving time to me.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          That’s how legal systems work in actuality, dumbass. There’s no such thing as a democratic legal process.

          • Phantoon says:

            WHICH MAKES IT TOTALLY OKAY.

            WAIT, NO. NO IT DOESN’T.

            IN FACT, THAT KIND OF MAKES YOU A JERK.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Did I state that it was okay? Get your fucking head on straight, dude.

    • ultimafrost says:

      It is not the strike that makes them stay imprisoned, it is the difficulty of convincing the authorities that they weren’t doing something that were already told from previous attempts not to.

    • Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

      You do know that Greece is basically constantly at war with its neighbouring countries, right? That does actually make spying a legitimate threat and is in no way related to any financial troubles they have.

      • Phantoon says:

        If that’s true, why hasn’t one won yet? And what kind of war? Also, have they heard of satelites? Because I can see that base just fine from here, over four thousand miles away.

        • Brun says:

          If that’s true, why hasn’t one won yet?

          North and South Korea have been in a declared state of war (but also adhering to an armistice) for nearly 50 years. Just because you’re at war doesn’t mean you’re actively fighting ALL THE TIME.

  10. Pryde says:

    Isn’t there, you know, some black ops squad, that liberate their own citizens despite the law, cruelly and illegally mutilating everyone in their trail?.. Oh, yes, stupid me. Bohemia’s not based in “that” country. I guess if Greece had tons of oil…

    • Sardaukar says:

      I am sure this comment thread will be full of informed statements and insight. It certainly won’t hinge on statements as nonsensical as “oil.” Excuse me while I fetch snacks and soda.

      • Jamesworkshop says:

        i’m enjoying the wait to see how Americas the bad guy in all of this.

        • Pryde says:

          Errm, no, that was not really the point. I mean, it’s just really hard to imagine such situation keep “hanging” if Greece was holding USA citizens for example. Or Russian (but in this case major spotlight in mass-media is needed, which (free mass-media), as you know, we don’t have *at all*).

          It’s just sad to see *pointless and merciless* politics ruining people internationally. And even more sad that Greece is doing this just because it can freely bark specifically at this tree.

          • Grygus says:

            If they were Americans this would have already been resolved and these men would be relaxing at home right now. However, the reasons for that include all the things people resent in American foreign policy: the bullying, the willingness to resort to violence, the extreme wealth, etc. So it’s worth asking whether the benefits outweigh the downsides.

    • Scarf Ace says:

      They’ve got olive oil!

    • Pryde says:

      It’s really greek political cloaca that bullying others here. Any sentient being can understand that these two guys are most likely innocent. Well. Most. Likely. Keeping them in custody is some sort of making a point… or something. I can understand if those guys raped 11 years old greek girl. I can understand if those guys bombed something or at least tried. Or killed somebody. Or anything. But FFS, accusing tourists of ESPIONAGE – that’s pure politics. And that’s bullying. The only problem here is that Greece is really bullying because there is no real threat. And that is sad.

  11. tres says:

    Their own fault really, why would you shoot military installations when it’s clearly prohibited (especially with intent to make a 3D model out of it and publish it) + there’s a lot of Greece vs. Turkey tension atm.

    • Paul says:

      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.”

    • Phantoon says:

      “It’s their fault really”

      Wait, extreme paranoia over decommissioned bases is their fault? You’re gonna have to explain that one.

  12. dE says:

    I don’t see a lot of hope for them. Getting caught doing ANYTHING in times of a crisis and social unrest ANYWHERE even remotely odd has always been the highway towards repercussions and imprisonment. Justified or not. Another factor is, that they don’t seem to have the large scale media putting up a spectacle about their imprisonment. I’ve barely read or heard anything about this outside of games related media.

    • Grygus says:

      Well, RPS are sort of fans here; the big media outlets are going to be a bit less predisposed to assume these guys are innocent. Once the evidence is presented at trial, if it’s as shabby as the lawyer portrays, I think you will see some reaction.

  13. TomEllinson says:

    This is utter nonsense. The games community at large needs to start petitioning for their release, and the czech government needs to put the pressure on for it as well. This is nonsense. What on earth could two game devs do to harm their country!?

    NERDS CAN’T EVEN TALK TO GIRLS!

    D: Much less play at James Bond.

    • mckertis says:

      Come on ! They arent nerds ! They are gun nuts ! Gun nuts dont need to talk to girls, they have rifles to satisfy their every possible need, including sexual ones.

  14. Joshua Northey says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they are being held as yet one more tiny bargaining chip in the debt negotiations. Something to get a vote out of their home country when the time comes.

  15. Cirno says:

    I wonder what kind of evidence is needed. How can one prove that he is not a spy? Fly around countries asking presidents “Are those your guys? No? Mkaay…” The whole incident looks like some government officials needed to find some “enemies of the state” and create an image of actually working. And its their problem if their military (pfft, probably 2-3 cold war era planes) cant protect their bases from random guys with cameras, not like they can protect anything from cameras in our age of technology, I mean if someone wants plans of military bases, they will get them, thus all that “protection” is bullshit.

  16. JonasKyratzes says:

    Yes, the Greek government is pretty awful. That’s why millions of people in Greece are taking to the streets in protest, and are met with extreme police brutality. A case like this is representative of the country’s political and military elite (which is supported by the EU and kept in place at any cost), but not representative of the population in general.

    • Prokroustis says:

      Hey Jonas, love your games!
      The matter in point is, this is a judicial matter at the moment. Not that some inside or outside pressure wouldn’t help, but the government is not really the one to blame in this instance. Separation of powers and whatnot.

    • Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

      Good to see you here Jonas. I love The Infinite Ocean and The Fabulous Screech.

      Now, while I agree with your statement here (and in general your statements about Greece on your blog), I do believe the developers in question were pushing their luck, and should at least have expected some sort of reaction, including the one they got. The time it has taken to process their case is a different matter however, and in this regard I do blame the Greek military/justice system.

      • Lemming says:

        If what was said above is true, and its’ based on video at the airport where you arrive on the island, I don’t think luck was pushed. They did what any one of us might do on holiday.

    • El_Emmental says:

      Regarding the EU support of the military and the government, I think they’re afraid of a bloody civil war.

      So as long as the greek Army and the gov don’t start a war with Turkey, and avoid having armed militia squads and rogue soldiers shooting people (the Golden Dawn is not that far from it… thus the EU warnings about it), the EU countries and institutions will support the current greek system.

      There’s also the global corruption of the EU by the banks and how they don’t want a civil war. because if it’s successful, the new gov/state might refuse to pay the debts contracted by the previous gov/state – so banks will have to fund a dictatorship and a bloodbath repression again, and the EU prefers avoiding that altogether by supporting the current system.

      If you think banks will let Greece get away, you’re misjudging them.

  17. Xaromir says:

    Greece shouldn’t be part of the EU.

    • moreyummystuff says:

      Amen – but for totally different reasons.

    • Mr.Bats says:

      I’m not Greek and I despise the EU (I am part of it, sadly) but saying that Greece shouldn’t be part of the EU is the most idiotic comment posted on this thread.

      And you know it

      • Totally heterosexual says:

        What’s wrong with EU?

        • Paul says:

          In its current form, almost everything is wrong with EU.

          • Totally heterosexual says:

            Oh, ok.

            I dont follow this stuff at all so I seriously have no idea. Thanks for the vague clarification.

          • FFabian says:

            Quite a bit shortsighted. The EU is has it failures (mostly economic ones) but most people bashing the EU forget that the EU brought something that was unheard of in this part of the world- 70 years of peace between nations that were archenemies before. We enjoy an episode of peace that is threatened by shortsighted nationalism and jingoism like yours.

        • Mr.Bats says:

          what’s not wrong with the EU

          i didn’t sign up to be patronized by Merkel, btw

          • Phantoon says:

            Well, deal with it.

            She figured out how to conquer Europe in a way no one would be able to escape from.

          • Prokroustis says:

            Third time’s the charm, right?

      • Xaromir says:

        That kind of hurts, coming from someone who doesn’t see the value of the EU, especially in a globalized world. Globalization is reality, and we have to deal with it. Yes, they shouldn’t be a member for very different reasons, but most important: It’s just another reason for me personally, to dislike that place and not wanting to be associated with it in any way.

        • Mr.Bats says:

          1- Europe is Greece, Greece is Europe. Greece was the beginning of Europe and even the fucking word is greek! The fact that you even CONSIDER turning on Greece because of its problems, the fact that your SUPER COOL EU CLUB is willing to let a member out in the cold so easily because it’s not longer cool (wealthy enough) or doesn’t have the shitty LIFE IS WORK mentality the squareheads have it what’s so fucking dead with the EU

          2- The EU not only jeopardizes the sovereignity of its members but has evolved in an anti-democratic pro-establishment CANCER.

          and this comes from a law student that has studied the EU and its legal system in depth

          • Deadfast says:

            No longer cool? They’ve lying their asses off about their state of their economy for the last decade! If they didn’t massively under-report their deficit they wouldn’t even have been allowed into the Eurozone.

  18. Pindie says:

    If you are reading this:
    1) you have survived two pages of comments, thanks for stopping by
    2) the fact they are held up in common cell with 25 other suspected criminals might shed some light on exactly how serious those accusations and in fact the whole case is (just about as serious as DUI suspicion apparently).

    If you seriously suspected foreigners of espionage would you chunk them in with some random people?

  19. Ozgarden says:

    Reading this mess makes me totally sick. I can’t understand this kind of situation.

  20. moreyummystuff says:

    Knowing, first-hand, how things are in Greece and how the legal system works and how bureaucracy works I am fairly certain those two are basically a forgotten case, gathering dust in a file somewhere or even just misplaced. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if there actually is no file on them.

    Also, from what the parents said in their latest video it doesn’t seem like their own State is helping them much or taking much interest. So them two boys are basically just lost in the Kafka-esque cracks of the idiotic systems of two nations.

    • Twitchity says:

      That sounds about right — the Greek system can be remarkably fast when it wants to be (such as in the case of Kostas Vaxevanis: arrested for political reasons after publishing the Lagrade list, tried immediately, acquitted immediately, and now being tried again), but otherwise grinds exceedingly slowly (though not exceedingly fine). Plus, the immense popularity of Chrysi Avgi amongst the police suggests that it might not be a good time to be accused of espionage in Greece.

      I will say that it doesn’t sound like the Czech Republic is aggressively seeking to end their pre-trial imprisonment — according to the article, the Czech government says that their consul is working the issue. That’s quite appropriate for an embassy seeking to support citizens arrested abroad, but indicates that the Czechs aren’t treating it as a political issue: if they were, they would have stated that AMB Hana Ševčíková is managing the issue, not Consul Kovácsová.

      From an international relations standpoint, the best answer is to let the trial proceed, then have a political intervention clean up any unfortunate convictions and sentencings. My assumption is that the Czechs are going to wait until the trial and, if the devs are found guilty (which I believe is the most probable outcome), only then negotiate a pardon coupled with permanent expulsion from the state. Basically, the devs’ best protection is that they are accused of such a serious crime: it would be embarrassing, and straining to Czech-Greek relations, if you had several “spies” sitting in prison under such conditions.

  21. wtf says:

    I like the ad for Prison Architect below.

  22. gamma says:

    The only thing I can whish for is for this whole issue to be settled and fast, either way.

    I would like to voice all the sympathy for the devs (of a game series i am pretty fond of) and their families, yet it is premature but for a matter of principle of innocence (and to discuss this in abstract is pointless).

    BI’s approach to this is fit: silence, at least until the picture gets clearer. We could all well do the same.

  23. Burzum says:

    I’m Greek and I think the army really over-reacted with this.

    But before you guys form your opinion you need to know that Greece is in a cold war with Turkey since 1974 that has cost hundreds of billions in military spending and 18 months compalsory army service by all males to protect these islands.

    There is still an active casus beli (cause for war) from Turkey if Greece applies the international law on how far into the sea the national borders extend. Greece has now half the space that every country in the world has and Turkey flies armed F16s that violate Greek air space up to 200 times a day (i’m not exagerating this there have been days with 200 violations). Every time this happens Greece has to scramble F16 to intercept and those fly from those bases in the islands.

    Also there are thousands of hidden artillery in that island, buried in the mountains to defend invasion. My brother was maintaining them when he did his service.

    So considering all that you get an idea why the army isn’t very flexible with some strangers taking photos of these bases for a video game.

    • Lemming says:

      Don’t suppose the giant horse trick will work again, will it?

    • mrmalodor says:

      Except they were not taking photos for a video game and it’s your army’s fault for being dumb enough to put military installations on a civilian airport, where any Turkish spy can observe them in the guise of a tourist. Idiots.

    • El_Emmental says:

      Why letting civilians, let alone foreign tourists, go on a FREAKING MILITARY FORTRESS then ?!

      If they can’t let anyone take some pictures of the landscape visible from the airport, not even just take their memory cards/cameras, why they let them fly to that island in the first place ?!

      And gosh, can’t they have controls at the Lemnos airport, like in every god damn airport with a control tower not made of wood ? They would have kept the cameras (“for national security reasons”), make the guys pay $5/day for the safe keeping, let them enjoy the view, and give them their cameras back when they fly back home.

      And even without a camera, anyone with a 3-weeks course on landscape drawing can make very accurate plans using invisible ink on the back of normal paper about the local greek folk culture, with a pair of binoculars bought on the island “to spot birds”.

      And come on, Turkey has no access to any satellite data ? They’re working hands in hands with the US, they don’t host the Incirlik Air Base out of pure generosity.

  24. BlackAlpha says:

    For your information, the following website explains why the Arma3 devs have been detained:

    http://www.helpivanmartin.org/facts/

    As you can see, it’s complete and utter bullcrap. You go to jail for video taping an airport? If you really value your own military, then do NOT put them on a commercial airfield for every random person to see! And if you do, then do not blame people for looking in the general direction of your “top secret” military installations!

    From here on out, I forbid all Greece government officials to look in the general direction of North-West. If you do, you might catch a glimpse of the Dutch military top secret installations, and then we will have no choice but to detain you and put you in jail on spying charges. You have been warned!

    • BlackAlpha says:

      Lawyer of the detained devs said (Google translated from Czech):
      “My clients simply viewed the island, in the camera are about 150 ordinary tourist photos. Then there’s one video, which investigators divided into 14 frames. There is a noted military airport . But the video was taken from a car, while driving.”

      “The video is indeed visible sign that the object must not take photos. But rather that both are in motion, the first signs noticed. Up to the moment noticed another, they stopped filming.”

      “Yes, according to investigators in possession of material that may endanger the national security of Greece.”

      Source: http://www.lidovky.cz/chovali-se-jen-jako-nepozorni-turiste-neslo-o-spionaz-pfo-/ln_zahranici.asp?c=A120917_223827_ln_zahranici_ape

      TLDR: They made a short video of an airfield that contains a military installation. They didn’t notice the first “do not film sign”, then they stopped filming as they saw the second one. That’s why they are locked up behind bars.

      • Alextended says:

        What unbiased sources you have there, bullshit sites and the lawyers and families of those involved. Sweet. Either way, a trial is pending, if these are even half true they will not be found guilty. So sorry to inconvenience you with following legal procedure, we should totally just exclude them because they work for Bohemia. Also sorry that being detained isn’t a pleasant experience that a couple geeks can deal with very well. That should be fixed.

        • El_Emmental says:

          “Also sorry that being detained isn’t a pleasant experience that a couple geeks can deal with very well.”

          You really have no idea how terrible greek prisons are. Even if you’re innocent, you’re already being inhumanely punished for being a “suspect”. They are one of the worst prisons in the whole freaking Europe.

          http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/greece/report-2012#section-17-5
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korydallos_Prison

          But perhaps you’re one of these guys thinking prison should be inhumane, Lynch law style : steal a car, get gangraped and stabbed in prison. And the infamous “stay at home and you won’t have any problem”, “no smoke without a fire”, they must be guilty, the debate is only how much guilty they are, because policemen/soldiers never make a mistake or abuse their powers.

          And you’re discarding lawyers claims like they were total bullshit, completely forgetting that if lawyers lied about facts in public newspapers, the judge will take that into account (not officially if the law doesn’t allow it) and it will destroy their defense for good.

          The day the greek administration will fine you 1500 euros for not giving them a document on time, when in fact you sent it weeks ago and they lost it, you’ll act all surprised that they can be wrong ?

          When you’ll be walking in the street, going to meet a friend, and the police mistake you with nearby rioters and charge you for destroying cars and shops, keeping you in an overcrowded cell for 3 weeks, with murderers and psychopaths beating you up if you don’t give them your food ration, what are you going to say ? “Jolly misery, prison is such an unpleasant experience, it should be fixed” ?

          You’ll just try to tough through it the first week, shut-in during the second one, cry on the third. Then you’ll try to blame it on the rioters and the lowlifes who abused you in prison, trying to save face in front of your blatant foolery.

  25. Cim says:

    Can’t but help feel that it’s a very strange coincidence that someone warns them about this in advance of it actually happening. Maybe some Greek intelligence agency interpreted that post as their intent surveying the military base? Causing their vacation to seem more nefarious than it was.

    I just can’t imagine that it’s just a vacation video with the military base off in the distance that caused this, it seems too absurd.

  26. cpt_freakout says:

    I like how you all know how to fix the problems of the world. If only you were given the chance.

    • Phantoon says:

      Mandate that people be less stupid.

      There, done. Even if it doesn’t work, it’s the best solution.

    • Pindie says:

      I think it is quite probable there are individuals in this audience who have better ideas for fixing the world than Greek officials indeed.
      Given that most governments are basically groups of people who never planned anywhere beyond just getting there and now are busy figuring out how to stay in their seats…

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        There’s a semi-famous Steve Jobs interview excerpt where he says something like “I realized everything in the world was created by someone no smarter than me.”

        To me, that’s simultaneously inspiring and terrifying. Because really 99.9% of the world are barely competent idiots at best. Maybe you’re a little smarter than most, you’ve got a university degree, and then you realize that nobody else really knows what the fuck they’re doing either. Everything is a complete mess.

        And suddenly the state of the world isn’t so hard to explain. It’s remarkable we’ve come this far at all.

  27. Artesia says:

    The level of maturity in comments section is staggering, really. “My country is better than your country! Neener neener neener!” People should learn that not in all countries, even if they are democratic in name, people have some leverage on a government. Moreover, patronizing insults directed not only at a government, but at people are really shitty way of conduct.

  28. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    If someone’s going to actually commit espionage and spy on a country, it wouldn’t be Greece.

  29. Tams80 says:

    Do the Greeks have anything worth spying on?

  30. Slinkyboy says:

    Wait… So they’re in jail now?

  31. GeorgiaSomer22 says:

    My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do, http://Fox76.com

  32. ElvisMZ says:

    RPS gave up on this comment thread.

  33. MonkeyDot says:

    Argo, anyone?

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  35. Lolmasaurus says:

    Well, looks like the spambots have arrived. That’s all folks.

  36. Slinkyboy says:

    yep.

  37. Thoric says:

    Not an isolated incident. Among EU countries, Greece has the highest percentage of foreign prisoners and some of the worst prison conditions.

    Their legal system is horribly, horribly bogged down and many foreigners end waiting for a trial for years, with 10-20 year sentences hanging over them for minor offenses, or even just on circumstantial evidence.

    Stay the hell away from that country until it sorts its shit out, if ever.

    • User says:

      It has the 3rd highest percentage of foreign prisoners in the EU (Luxembourg is at n1), probably because it has the highest percentage of illegal immigration.

      But yes, stupid/illegal actions abroad can get you into prison.
      If you can’t refrain from doing those you probably shouldn’t leave home.

  38. Alextended says:

    According to Greek media, the devs arrested had recordings of:

    * An MM-40 Exocet Block II installation (anti-ship missile)
    * The 130th Battle Squadron
    * A radar installation
    * Army base and barracks.

    Media report that the military authorities were particularly concerned that the data captured from the devs showed not only the position of these installations and the type of equipment they contained, but also things like access routes, alternative routes, fuel depots etc.

    If true then it certainly isn’t just some accidental shots in the distant background or whatever they first claimed (I dunno, their story changes so often) and will definitely have consequences (though likely not harsh, it’s likely that if convicted they will eventually be sent home after dealing with the Czech government with the only consequence being the inability to return to Greece).

    As for what secrets Greece has to protect, its military actually consists of hundreds of fighter jets, thousands of tanks, a large fleet of frigates and of course much more. Buying ridiculous amounts of absurd military equipment considering the size of the nation in order to keep various allies happy and for politicians to gain from bribes (no, this doesn’t show Greek politicians are scum, it shows the allies’ politicians are so also, as bribery isn’t self inflicted) is part of what led to the current economic state. Even during this crisis the US is pressuring to ditch a few hundreds Abrams tanks on Greece by presenting them as a “gift” for “just” the outrageous cost of shipping.

    Not that anyone is saying the USA would be interested in buying these secrets, but you can see how footage of such things could aid even by comparison small time, I dunno, Greek terrorists? Whatever.

    But who cares, let’s just be racist fucks, making jokes about Greece’s worth, their economic troubles that don’t only exist in their country, and take the PR wars of the defense as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (never mind it’s often contradicting Bohemia’s previous statements where before the incident their forum mods openly admitted they’re there to take such photos and told concerned Greeks warning that it’s illegal to shut up and mind their own business).

    There will be a trial. They will either be found guilty or not. If the defense’s story is even half true I’d like to think they won’t be found guilty. If the Greek media reports are closer to the truth they will likely have to be punished, deservedly so. Ignorance of the law, others doing illegal deeds as well, the country going through a crisis, or anything else, is no excuse anywhere, not just in Greece.

    And yes, you can be convicted for espionage even if you aren’t a spy by profession with intent to sell the secrets to Turkey or whoever else but instead a game developer aiming to provide said secrets to everyone, currently a threat or not, for $49 in the form of a game that could have easily been made without that kind of confidential information without affecting it in any negative manner.

    Anyway, shame most people’s defense of these guys has nothing to do with the actual topic and if they did or didn’t do something illegal and more to do with displaying how racist one can be on the internet.

    I hope their lawyers will be doing a better job in court.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      Finally, some sense. Thank you.

    • profaniti says:

      Could you link a media source that says what they are being accused of possessing?

      Is this an isolated media source, or being widely reported? How neutral / independent would you say was?

      As a total outsider I am getting frustrated with the disparity of information being represented in the greek media and the information being represented in the international media.

      I guess we won’t really know what material they possess until the trial now – but the report of what they are accused of verses what their lawyer claims they possessed is very different.

    • El_Emmental says:

      You read wild assumptions written in a newspaper, in a country plagued with corruption, and took them as facts ? buhahaha

      That newspaper also said they had night vision cameras… why that information wasn’t used ONCE by the authorities to justify their reaction ? Newspaper can lie ? Impossibru !

      Also… Exocet missiles have to be moved at least every month, Turkey has weekly-updated very-detailed informations on all military assets on that island, especially since the US is working with them (intel in exchange of the US bases on their territory), pretending a picture of the landscape visible from the civilian airport, with a white dot of 10 pixels in a corner, is a national security issue, is total bollocks.

      It’s just the local politicians and militaries trying to cover up all the money they stole from the greek citizens by using a pair of european tourists as a scapegoat pinata.

      Too bad most of them are busy beating up immigrants, while tax evasion documents are suppressed by politicians and the police.

      • Alextended says:

        Huh, it looks like racist fucks with obvious biases can’t read very well either. To clarify, where in my post do I claim I believe either side’s story as presented? Please quote me directly, don’t project your feelings and ignorance as something that was present in my post. It’s sad to see your attempted defense also consists of completely irrelevant to the case observations (photos and recordings are illegal whether you think some or all of the information was already public or not, other issues within Greece don’t mean you’re supposed to casually stroll by doing all sorts of illegal things and expect to get away with it because others may have done so, etc) riddled with yet more racist stereotyping and assumptions (no, this case isn’t used for anything politically, there are barely any reports about it at all, you most likely wouldn’t have heard of it either if it wasn’t gaming related – at most it’s presented sensationally to attract attention to whatever media outlet, much like it’s presented very sensationally by various gaming websites).

  39. PocketMeat says:

    I keep seeing this idea thrown out that every country throws people in jail for taking pictures of military bases. As a member of the US Military I’d like to say that’s false for my country. At most you will be asked to leave or removed from the area, only for fear that you may be planning some type of terrorist attack or something. If you’ve ever been to Okinawa, JPN there are Japanese people standing outside Kadena Air Force Base taking pictures of the aircraft on a daily basis. Whenever new fighter jets are in town there are usually hundreds of people out there with the biggest zoom lenses I’ve ever seen. These people aren’t even asked to leave or harassed in any way.

    Any sensitive equipment or activities should be taking place deeper inside the base or under the cover of a building of some sort. I don’t see why you would need to charge these individuals so harshly. I hope they are able to resolve this reasonably.

    • Alextended says:

      There are places and/or events where it’s fine to take such photos in Greece too. Military parades are often aired on TV after all. In this case however there were clear signs saying it is not fine to take such photos. You mark those with “no unauthorized personnel” or whatever. We also still can’t know exactly what they shot.

    • mckertis says:

      ” If you’ve ever been to Okinawa, JPN there are Japanese people standing outside Kadena Air Force Base taking pictures of the aircraft on a daily basis. ”

      That is to be expected. You occupied their land, regularly rape their women, and kill their people without any fear of consequences, last big case was just a week ago. The least they can do is study your base to learn how to destroy it in the most effiecient manner.

      • El_Emmental says:

        Vae Victis.

        Should we give full satellite map of Japan to the chinese people for the Nankin “event” then ?

        Stop acting all shocked, when japanese war criminals have their own freaking shrines. Americans don’t have a temple where they pay tribute to the boys who dropped the bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima on a yearly basis, even them don’t do that.

      • Outsider says:

        Not sure if mckertis is terminally ignorant, hideously anti-American or both (those characteristics do tend to overlap). History may be boring to you, but I urge you to read up on World War 2, specifically the war in the pacific against a certain Axis power, as well as said power’s actions before, leading up to and during the war, also who they sided with in this global struggle could be important.

        Finally, note that today, Japan has one of the most favorable views toward the US in all of the world, more favorable than Americans themselves.

    • Hahaha says:

      We don’t have one world government yet

  40. Erithtotl says:

    If these guys were Americans they’d have been out by now. Or English, or German. No way Greece can afford to piss those countries off. But Czech Republic? Go right ahead.

  41. badseed79 says:

    I work in the legal sphere and have been keeping a close eye on this case.

    From my (limited) reading of the apparently applicable law(s), one of the main issues is that previously, the laws have been interpreted as being of ‘strict’ liability.

    For those of you without legal training what this means is that, effectively, it does not matter what their motives were – same as when you get a parking ticket or a speeding fine. It takes motive out of the legal equation.

    Hence, even if they were filming for the purposes of game design, or even in the similar cases of tourists / plane spotters, that does not matter. All that is required to satisfy guilt in ‘strict’ liability cases, is the act itself- in this case the photography (via video) of a restricted base.

    Of course there is usually judicial discretion and oversight available – but given the current situation in Greece I agree that they may be being used as bargaining chips at the EU negotiating table.

    Basically, the whole situation is a clusterf*ck. The devs certainly should not have blatantly ignored the instruction not to film, but that doesn’t excuse the Greek bureaucracy for their (imho) clear overreaction.

    • xfrog says:

      From what I have learned from the news here in Greece, Bohemia Interactive (BI) did not ask for a permission and they got caught. Local authorities claimed that they were crossing some lines but they understood they were making a game. They have given them some instructions on which parts to include in the game and which parts to “cut” so as not to reveal sensitive information to the public and also instructions on where or not to go filming. And that was after they caught them and even if they didn’t ask for permission to gather data. For me that sounds fair, actually it is the most realistic work they could have done to recreate the island without legal problems.They were instructed after their completion of their game to not go on further activities in the island.
      BI said that they got everything they wanted to complete their game and that they will leave and do not do any further work on the island.
      That was before the two devs went there for their “vacation”. Maybe that has something to do with BI’s indifferent statement. Maybe Greek authorities are not so much over-reacting if that is true. But still, if that is how things happened, they probably going to let them go eventually, but not hastily.

      Edit:I added the fact that they caught BI taking photos for their game without permission before the actual event

  42. Incanus says:

    It’s amazing how the awfull thing that happens to this two guys (and i really mean awfull) is changing in “let’s bash the greek, even if their country was devastated by economic war, ruled by 2/3 of corrupt people at the orders of the bloody Troika and they are fighting every day to survive”.

    I mean, the indignation of people seems very variable. If this was happening in the USA, i wonder if we would see these same racist people hurling insults too at the US government?

    I mean, Guantanamo for years? Not even closed? Not even a trial?

    Secret CIA prison in EU, with the consent of many EU government? Hello?

    We could and should be blaming greek political majority (right wing people always prompt to trample their own people), but blaming greeks? COME ON, be smart, get the information, you live in rich countries, use the net, inform yourself.

    Google is your friend, haters.

    • dnch says:

      pooor greeks.. bullshit, they were the ones who voted for socialistic populists who spend money on social benefits, early pension, short work week and shit, they are not the victims of economy war, they are one of the causes of it

  43. Schmouddle says:

    As a Czech I only wish two things.
    1) Our ministry of exterior shall officially warn our citizens that going to Greece puts you in danger of being arrested without any sound reason and travelling there is not recomended.
    2) we need two Greeks caught with a camera taking pictures of anything military connected here, throw them into jail for like two months and start negotiating with our southern “allies” about prisoner exchange (Glienicke bridge in Potsdam is sort of an ideal spot).

    This would do the trick, I guess.

    :)

  44. dnch says:

    fuck greece
    by the way, they are part of NATO, same as we (czechs).. so we were actually spying on ourselves?

    • Lord Teleporno says:

      Turkey is also a part of NATO but that doesnt stop them from tens of airspace breaches and their frigates sailing near Evoia. I have nothing with the Turkish people and I wholeheartedly believe it is just a dance to justify the billion dollar arms purchases.
      However do not confuse the Greek people with the legislative system.
      The Greeks are as oppressed by the system and the authorities as these guys.
      What am I saying….believe the media more pls

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