Former Capt. Ugur Ucan and Sgt. Mesut Firat were freed after Turkey issued a second extradition request, following the dismissal of its first one, this January.

The ruling means Greek courts have rejected the extradition of all eight ex-soldiers who fled Turkey just after the collapse of last July’s coup attempt, which left 249 people martyred and more than 2,100 injured.

They are accused of being involved in the failed coup, which Turkey says was masterminded by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and the group’s leader, U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen.

The former soldiers fled Turkey a few hours after the failed coup attempt and arrived in Greece on a hijacked Black Hawk helicopter, claiming that their lives were in danger in Turkey.

Greece has now blocked Turkey’s extradition requests twice and ordered the men released from custody, unless they are charged with additional criminal offenses.

The men’s asylum requests remain to be processed.

Turkey has continuously demanded that the men be sent back to the country to face justice and fair treatment.

However, after a series of trials and appeals, Greece has rejected the demands, citing concerns about the men’s safety.

Anadolu Agency