Convicted plane-spotting 'spies' launch appeal

Lawyers for six British plane-spotters found guilty of spying charges in Greece have launched an appeal.

Lawyers for six British plane-spotters found guilty of spying charges in Greece have launched an appeal.

It is not known if the six will be freed pending the appeal.

Six more Britons who received one-year sentences after being found guilty of aiding and abetting them have had their prison terms suspended.

Two Dutchmen were also convicted of spying. The group was arrested near a Greek air force base in the southern town of Kalamata.

The Britons found guilty of spying were Paul Coppin, 45, from Mildenhall, Suffolk; Andrew Jenkins, 32, from York; Peter Norris, 52, of Uxbridge, west London; Gary Fagan, 30, from Kegworth, Leicestershire; Antoni Adamiak, 37, of London; Graham Arnold, 38, from Ottershaw, Surrey. The convicted Dutchmen are Patrick Dirksen, 27, and Frank Mink, 28.

Those found guilty of aiding and abetting were Mr Coppin's wife Lesley, 51; Michael Bursell, 47, of Swanland, near Hull; Michael Keane, 57, of Dartford, Kent; Steven Rush, 38, from Caterham, Surrey; Christopher Wilson, 46, from Gatwick, West Sussex; and Wayne Groves, 38, from Tamworth, Staffs.

Amid chaotic scenes in court, Lesley Coppin said: "I cannot believe they have done it but I really should know better. This is all about politics. They made a mistake and they won't back down."

Paul Coppin said: "I'm disgusted with the whole legal system, it's a shambles."

Peter Norris, who is facing three years in prison following the verdict, said: "We were just following our hobby. There was no ill will towards the Greek state when we arrived here back in November.

"It is totally ridiculous. You can get anything you want about the Greek Air Force sat at home on your computer. This verdict was not unexpected we just knew this was going to happen. I have hardly any confidence in having an appeal here."

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox