Czech Republic president pledges support for jailed Arma devs - Report

Czech leader Václav Klaus has urged Greek president to personally give the matter "special attention".

The president of the Czech Republic has stepped in to pledge his support for the two jailed Arma developers who are currently being held in Greece on charges of espionage.

Czech leader Václav Klaus wrote a personal letter to Greek President Karolos Papoulias (translated by Eurogamer), urging him to treat the matter with "special attention".

"This case is very sensitive to the Czech public and also to me as president of the Republic," Klaus wrote.

"The fate of our citizens anywhere in the world matters to us. I have no doubt that the democratic Greek authorities...will consider this unfortunate matter impartially and independently. Even I do not in any way want to interfere with their work.

"I want to ask you, Mr President, to follow this unfortunate affair with special attention considering the excellent relations between our nations so this does not throw unnecessary shade onto our relationship."

The two Bohemia Interactive developers Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar remain in Greek jail after 70 days. They were recently denied bail.

Buchta and Pezlar were arrested on the Greek island of Lemnos in September for spying on a military compound. According to Greek reports, the pair was in possession of videos and photos of military compounds in Lemnos at the time of their arrest.

The Greek island is the main location for Bohemia Interactive's upcoming shooter Arma III, with the two reportedly claiming that they were collecting reference material for the game.

Since their arrest, Bohemia Interactive has insisted that Buchta and Pezlar were on holiday, and did not enter any military areas or shoot any footage of military objects for use in Arma III. A support site for the pair has been established by the community.

A representative of Arma studio Bohemia Interactive told GameSpot earlier this week that due to ongoing political strife in Greece, Buchta and Pezlar are no closer to release.

Buchta and Pezlar face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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Discussion

0 comments
maxwell97
maxwell97

One can never be sure in such a case.  This may be used as retaliation by the Greek government for Czech opposition to certain financial measures. 

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

I understand the devs made a statement not backing these guys, but what if that's really the truth?  That these guys were posing as video game developers in order to steal information from Greece without being punished for it due to a "misunderstanding," and the company didn't want them to snoop around like they did?  Certainly would not be out of the ordinary as far as government plots go.

havocmerc
havocmerc

178k standing forces? For What? Who on earth would want to invade Greece?  The kind of Persia?  As I recall that didn't go so well the last time.

angry-slavicboy
angry-slavicboy

They want money. If Greece belived they were spies it would have been a big political incident

N4o7A
N4o7A

That's nice of the Czech Republic's President to offer his support to help get these two guys out.

jack00
jack00

I don't think spies would call out for their Fathers and Mothers if they were caught spying like these 2 did...

Vodoo
Vodoo

The developer they work for REALLY screwed them over by saying they weren't collecting anything for the game. Instead, they should've said "we're currently making a game based on this location and it is very possible the two were collecting material on their own, while on vacation there." IF they ever get home, they should burn down that studio for helping keep them there by knocking the legs out from under the only defense they have.

AzatiS
AzatiS

Go to Greece --- > Take illegal military photos/phootage ---> Get caught ---> Say that you working for a gaming company that is making military based games ---> Get out of jail ---> Go home like nothing happened.

 

 

If some of you think this is THAT easy then every single spy on earth would do the same. Start working for a video game company and spy the hell out of Greece or any other country...

 

Yet if you ask any guy with BRAINS , working for video gaming company or not , WOULDNT EVEN THINK ABOUT TAKE A PHOTO of military base/material in a foreign country. How dummy is that?!!

 

As you can see this thing is super complicated and stop hating Greece for that. Your own country would do the same. period

 

 

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

You can't go into a country with security concerns and take photos of their bases so you can put them in a video game.  It doesn't matter that they're not spies, they wanted to use military secrets which could put Greek security at risk.  You can't screw around and get away with it just because you aren't a secret agent or something.  They should absolutely prosecute these two guys.  I'm sorry they were so stupid as to do what they did, because it is a really bad mistake to make and I know it wasn't done with malice.

TANKER_LINK
TANKER_LINK

Greece I really screwing around here, holding these two will only make them look bad. All they need to do Is confiscate their equipment and send them off.

DevilD2005
DevilD2005

The problem I see, is their own coworkers are disavowing them. No matter what happens, no one is going to look good after this settles. (maybe the president of the Czech Republic, but thats it)

christosmage
christosmage

The problem there is complex, greek islands are small in size, they are always threatened by neighboring Turkey so u have to have military installations there. But there are local residents there also u cant militarize all the islands nor ban tourists because its a source of revenue for the locals so the only thing u can do is ban photos of installations and military bases. Ppl have to remember that its a small country with small island its not like us where u can build your military bases in the middle of nowhere. The Arma guys plobably thought they could get away with a little research but the were caught. And to conclude its the law of the country if u break it u pay.

lextexrex
lextexrex

Hmmm... Czech trying to help out their citizens in other countries right after they detained Lamb of God's singer for manslaughter with poor evidence and a weak accusation. After that, they set a bail amount and double it once he paid it.  After what happened, I don't think I will ever visit the Czech after seeing how their legal system works.

xkurupt718x
xkurupt718x

A representative of bohemia specifically said they were on holiday. I can understand wanting to work even when you are not officially on the clock but you gotta remember that you still have to follow rules. these guys were stupid not to ask for permission to take photographs.

 

people are so hypocritical. if some1 wanted to use your house for their video game you wouldnt like it if they took pictures of your house and what goes on around your house without asking you for permission. Sad story but these guys made a huge mistake and now they gotta suffer the consequences

pezzott1
pezzott1

People dont just get locked up for no reason. Taking pictures of nothing for two employees on holiday doesnt quite fit. 

CincoToes
CincoToes

Shoulda just used google maps.

lekzero
lekzero

Arma series, the best graphics, poor animations, glitches.....bugs but i like it anayway

vasilas43
vasilas43

Also it is said they were filming around the military base, including base supply routes and special forces emergency reinforcements routes. Who knows....

emperiox
emperiox

I say the 2 terrorists should just be tryed for treason. It's the only way!!!

wezkilla
wezkilla

they will stay in prison for the rest of their lives, espionage is a big crime, doesnt matter if they said they wernt doing that, how does anyone know 

 

tuff shit really

youre_in_denail
youre_in_denail

jail them for life. they are spys and helping czech plan an attack on greece.

d_rokko
d_rokko

This is like some Russian "devs" coming to the US on "vacation" and trying to map Area 51.  Dumb move, ignorant move, criminal move, and they deserve whatever happens to them.

christosmage
christosmage

 @havocmerc yes Greece has a fairly large army for the size of the country and well equipped from US, Israel and Germany. it has about 178k standing forces compare that to UK lets say that has 218k standing forces. that's due to the fact that military service in Greece is compulsory like Israel where everybody goes to the army.

devild0ogwhite
devild0ogwhite

 @AzatiS Finally someone with sense!  If they really wanted footage or pictures they could have contacted the greek military and arrange a tour.  There's plenty of non-confidential stuff they could have seen that way without performing any illegal actions.  And say they were refused, well then too bad, take an educated guess what you think their military is like and base your game on that.

Vodoo
Vodoo

 @downloadthefile OK. Prosecute them for stupidity, not for freakin ESPIONAGE! Prosecute for taking illegal photographs, but not as spies. Big difference.

ObeseChipmunk
ObeseChipmunk

 @christosmage 

Why do you conclude with "if u break it u pay" after saying the issue is complex and tourists shouldn't be banned?

Simplythebest12
Simplythebest12

 @christosmage Greece is a country with 1/3 land and 2/3 sea. It has around 6000 small and medium islands and Islets. It is the country with the most islands in Europe. It is difficult for the Greek military to guard so many islands so Greece depends mostly in their Navy for defending

pimpofdoom
pimpofdoom

 @lextexrex Your loss dude. I visited the Czech Republic last summer and I think it's a beautiful country. I wish I had more time to explore Prague.

ObeseChipmunk
ObeseChipmunk

 @xkurupt718x 

Sure you'd probably be upset if someone was taking pictures of your house without permission. I know I would. But would you imprison them in your basement indefinitely? Would you threaten to keep them there for twenty years? Take a look at your analogy. It really does a great job of making the state look irrational.

Evilbunz
Evilbunz

 @wezkilla unless your name is raymond davis.... and you kill 2 civilians. get caught by cops, go to jail. They find pictures of military bases in your camera and find out you work for the CIA. 

 

Then you pay off the families not to speak a word in court... and basically there is a escape like in the movies out of a very hostile nation that might or might not support the taliban.

SythisTaru
SythisTaru

 @d_rokko We wouldn't jail them though, we wouldn't want to offend Russia. 

orbit991
orbit991

 @d_rokko Right, because Czechs and Greeks have been through a cold war and have the largest nuclear arsenals in the world. It's nothing like Russian devs taking pictures actually. Now if it were Turks I could see major distrust, but in this case give them a warning and send them the F home.

Poodger
Poodger

 @d_rokko Why is the word devs in quotations? These guys ARE game developers, not spies or anything. The intention was innocent, and the reaction was overboard.

xkurupt718x
xkurupt718x

 @ObeseChipmunk no it doesnt because when it comes to trespassing on someones house and a military compound the military compound will always have greater consequences.Also you in your house have no right to inprison any1 whereas a military compound/government property does have that right.

 

I believe these guys are innocent and 20 years is a bit rough but it does seem like they did trespass and some countries take that very seriously. This all could have been avoided if they asked for permission. Its that simple. Now they have to suffer the consequences for trespassing and taking pictures without permission. 

CincoToes
CincoToes

 @tathagat91 You're right, I was clearly trying to use proper spelling, I just did it wrong.

Evilbunz
Evilbunz

 @suhinho  @CincoToes no it doesn't..... and for good reason. You don't want a bunch of idiots (from any religion for w/e their cause is) finding out info on military compounds around the world and basically doing something out of a cod set piece.

d_rokko
d_rokko

Right, because there are no worthwhile secrets besides nuclear arsenal secrets.  

d_rokko
d_rokko

 @Poodger How many spies are going to identify their job as a spy?  They probably wouldn't have a job long.  And why the need to map a secret place?  If it's a secret know one knows what it looks like anyway.  The whole thing seems incredibly fishy and we don't even know the whole story.  

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

 @Poodger  @d_rokko It is, however, the exact same widely-reported hardly-a-secret reaction Greece has had many many MANY times before with people photographing around/near/within the same country borders as their military installations. So overboard? Sure. UNEXPECTEDLY overboard? Not even slightly.

Poodger
Poodger

 @d_rokko FYI, things are never really all that elaborate or complex in real life.