Bohemia insists arrested Arma devs not spying

Studio rep maintains detained developers' innocence, says pair visited Lemnos for vacation, and did not enter any military areas or shoot video for use in Arma III.

Arma developer Bohemia Interactive has released an additional update on the situation regarding the pair of detained developers who have now spent more than a week in custody. A statement from creative director Jay Crowe again insists that the two--Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar--visited the Greek island of Lemnos as tourists on vacation, and did not enter any military areas or shoot any footage of military objects for use in the company's upcoming shooter Arma III.

Bohemia maintains that its employees are innocent.

Crowe said he has met with Buchta and Pezlar, as well as their lawyer and the Greek police, and called these assertions "false and without substance." He said the pair's work over the past two years on Arma III spurred the two to take a vacation there.

According to Crowe, Buchta and Pezlar took photographs and video in public areas, just like any other tourist may do. He specifically mentioned that some of this footage, possibly the part that landed the two in trouble, included shots of the main road near the international airport, as well as aircraft hangars.

"We sincerely hope that the whole situation is no more than an unfortunate and deep misunderstanding," Crowe said.

Crowe added that Bohemia Interactive's in-game version of Lemnos is "far from an identical replication of the real place." He said the location has been "heavily modified" to suit the game's story, which puts players in a fictional 2035 setting.

Lastly, Crowe relayed a message from Buchta and Pezlar, sent from the pair's holding place in Mytilene.

"The conditions are tough, but the people we meet treat us fairly and correctly," reads a line from the statement. "It is all a completely absurd misunderstanding that will certainly be quickly explained. We mainly think of you, our families; you have to stay calm and not to worry about us. We hope we will meet soon."

Last week, the Greek police and the Czech embassy in Greece released statements regarding the details of the pair's arrest. The Greek police confirmed Buchta and Pezlar had been charged with espionage, and that an investigation conducted by officers found that the developers were in possession of various audio-visual material with footage from military facilities in Lemnos and the surrounding area.

A statement from the Czech Republic embassy in Athens, Greece confirmed that it is "closely following the case," but declined to share further information, so as to "avoid any further misunderstanding."

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Discussion

71 comments
InquisitorCrox
InquisitorCrox

Why didnt those game devs took a permission to shoot those videos?

Because it is illegal!

Why it is not enough to show their credentials and get away with it?

Because it still is illegal...

What would their immediate release release show to the other possible infractors?

Who can take the responsibility and personally vouche for them, risking his military or political carrier??

How can their equipment can be confiscated and them released, without the proper bureucracy  procedure and concluding evidence?

They are not treated like terrorists or spies...but no one is above law, at least in the country that gave birth to it...

And military presence in island Limnos, is a very delicate matter, because the region is a hot zone, in the Greco-Turkish cold war...

Machete33
Machete33

Every country tries to take care of its own. If someone was snooping around a US base, I'm sure we would detain them and once their stories cleared, we would release them. I'm sure that even though Greece has its problems, Greek officials are still people, and therefore reasonable, and will release the two developers as well. Try taking a picture right outside any US military establishment and then see if you get into trouble

erix43
erix43

Um, I appreciate the dedication and hate the outcome, but was GOOGLE MAPS or anything else of this nature ever considered? Maybe they don't allow Google maps or these types of services around military areas perhaps? If so, then ok. Poor dudes. They're just making a game. 

ErinlsADrunk
ErinlsADrunk

I still don't what kind of idiot shows up unannounced and starts taking pictures of a military installation without permission.

Michael1571
Michael1571

Greece will not be in the map next year. The entire country is about to be sold to Turkey, Germany, Macedonia and Albania. It's nothing more than a nice place to visit for summer holidays. And these loosers who are about to be extinct dared arrest people for doing their job? I thought this god forsaken excuse for a country could not get ane lower. Apparently I was wrong.

blee575
blee575

   They were caught for illegally possession of pictures and videos of military facilities in Lemnos, which is very close to Turkey (and Greece has almost engaged in full-scale war with Greece two times in the last 2 decades).   Don't worry, they won't spend the rest of their lives in jail. I'm sure it will be sorted out soon (Army officials are idiots- but not that idiots). But they did enter forbidden army sites, and they did take pictures and videos of them to make their game more realistic. They knew it was forbidden (you can't miss the signs in military areas), they tried their luck and got caught. Every country in the world would do the same.   And if you are wondering, yes, Greece has a pretty serious army, considering it's population (10,000,000), and some pretty intense relationships with it's neighbors.

jollybest1
jollybest1

This is so funny, they should arest some moders too for using Greek armed forces in some modes :)).

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Fowsed
Fowsed

this is bullshit

division_9
division_9

"the part that landed the two in trouble, included shots of the main road near the international airport, as well as aircraft hangars."

 

Oh, you mean pictures anyone can probably find off Google images if not Google maps?.

Thirdrail1
Thirdrail1

One can only assume that the Greek national anthem is the theme music from the Pink Panther movies.

Devils-DIVISION
Devils-DIVISION

Greece is just trying to show everyone that Greece is still in control, even whilst under huge economic reform. So it was just a PR stunt on their part - a stunt gone horribly wrong. Because only afterwards did they realise that those 'spies' weren't actually posing as 'game devs'.So take this as a lesson kids: don't play any games related to spying in Greece; "I Spy" will put you in lock-up for at least a couple days, until [the bound and determined] Greek intelligence can put you on a flight back home, to where films like: "I Spy" and "Spy Hard" are actually released to the public - tsk tsk.

That concludes my educated rant. :)

 

PlusFour
PlusFour

Watch out man, those game devs man. They're dangerous folk or so i've heard!

tightwad34
tightwad34

Anyone know what the penalty is for Spying in Greece? I could google it, but I am too lazy. Paranoia is really not a good thing for the world.

rem234
rem234

Ok i have to put this out there, its Greece right, who the hell cares about Greece, even the greeks dont care about Greece. Why would they arrest  a couple of game devs, And im sure the game has more interesting things than the bases do anyways.

MoreThot
MoreThot

LOL if they were really spies I'm sure the Greek police would be the last of sorts to find out and capture them.. come on now.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

Just slip the judge €5 and he will let you go instantly.

xavvor1
xavvor1

Behind close doors Lemnos just really want early access beta to Arma 3 LOL.

noclue_27
noclue_27

If it's really that easy for people to obtain "sensitive military information" (aka pictures of vehicles?) I think Greece has a bigger problem than a couple of "spies". Really, shouldn't they be keeping their secrets in an underground facility away from the public's view? :/

Lotus-Edge
Lotus-Edge

Even spies had to get second jobs these days....

EvilShabazz
EvilShabazz

Accused maintain innocence.  Accusers maintain accused's guilt.  What's the story again, Eddie?

hadlee73
hadlee73

If they somehow get out of this situation you can almost guarantee that Arma III would have some DLC entitled "The Destruction of Hellas". :P

PesmergaYuber
PesmergaYuber

Like I said before, It's not uncommon for people to work two jobs....

Paul2004
Paul2004

Seems abit extreme for holiday pictures...something doesnt add up here. If it was as Bohemia says then they would have no reason to arrest them let alone charge them with Espionage. I think Bohemia may be trying to cover themselves but are trying to protect their employee's at the same time, but this is something we may never know the true answer to....

SolidTy
SolidTy

I hope things blow over soon.

HiroArka
HiroArka

If they decide that they are guilty for some strange and unreasonable reason .. those two will never be seen again. Espionage is a serious crime in a lot of places and some people have been executed for it. I really doubt two game dev dudes really were spying.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Taking pictures of military installations without the owning governments knowledge or permission? Sounds like spying to me.

erix43
erix43

 @ErinlsADrunk 

 

You still don't what? Before you do name calling towards dedicated game developers on a "gamer's website," check your god damned spelling. You are officially a dumb troll. Get a job and get out of here. 

perpato
perpato

 @Michael1571 ''Macedonia and Albania'' AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

AHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

AHAHAHAHAHAHA

 

Yea bcz these countries are rich as fuck. Thats a really good poison you got there watching your other commnets. Did your mamma or your girlfriend got fked in some of the islands there at the summer?

Verropoulos
Verropoulos

 @Michael1571 This God forsaken excuse for a country?? Really? REALLY??? This is the world we live in? Are you so hopelessly naive that you actually believe that? I won't even bother on arguing with you. That is the most hateful and idiotic comment i saw on this website and you should be ashamed of yourself. People like you is what make this world a crappy place to live in. Most of the arguments i found my self in in this website were with people that know how to converse and express opinions properly. You on the other hand are an embarrassment to everyone. You hate and ignorance for this country is nothing more than a result of a narrow minded individual with  poor and almost no knowledge of what this country contributed to the world over the centuries. And if you are going to throw comments like that research first. There are countries in the exact same economic situation as Greece. Laws have nothing to do with the economy. Get out of that cave and use what mind you have in a proper manner.

tightwad34
tightwad34

 @MoreThot

I know what you mean. They have to take all precautions, but come on. Real spies wouldn'd be standing in plain sight taking pictures of something that could get them in hot water. Maybe Greece is a country that has a low crime rate and the police have to find things to do.

scarletsnake
scarletsnake

 @EvilShabazz An update on the story. That Jay Crowe has made a new statement. It might not add or alter the previous situation, but it's news material nonetheless. 

markosasav
markosasav

 @Paul2004 Have you ever been to Greece and dealt with their cops? They were most likely expecting a bribe to let them go on the spot..

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

 @Paul2004 Same thing happened a few years ago with a group of British planespotters that got arrested. There's a precident for it, it seems.

P90E21
P90E21

 @HiroArka Didn't you know its time for the gamers to rebel against the world they were gathering intel. LOL j/k but that does seem odd that if you are gathering research material that you would be detained, but this day and age people are watching for the odd stuff.

Verropoulos
Verropoulos

 @Michael1571  @Devils-DIVISION wow you really have no education whatsoever. i really feel sorry for you. Oh and btw greece is listed amongst the top 5 fighting pilots in the world and everyday there are conflicts in Greece's airspace with the Turks. So spying is pretty logical in this point. 

However your ignorance and stupidity regarding Greek history is astonishing. It really surprises me that you are so narrow minded with opinions that don't even reflect on true events from history. 

EvilShabazz
EvilShabazz

 @scarletsnake Oh, so the employer of the accused maintains accused's innocence.  Yes, very newsworthy.

Devils-DIVISION
Devils-DIVISION

 @perpato  @Verropoulos  @Michael1571 Can I just say that my comment was not to be taken seriously. I have to apologise if the sarcasm wasn't clear enough; I guess I should've made that clearer with a PS. 

 

@perpato - I will have to remember that: "Bulgarians by blood, Macedonians by Tito" - Hah! :D

perpato
perpato

 @Verropoulos  @Michael1571  @Devils-DIVISION Dont worry hes is probably a neighbor of ours. i Bet from Fyromacedonia. The only ex-communist yugoslavic country in europe thats still lives in a fairytale. Tito did a fineeeee job. ''Bulgarians by blood macedonians by Tito'' that phrase used by the albanians of the country makes them sooooo mad every time aha.