Jailed Arma devs no closer to release

Bohemia Interactive says due to ongoing union action and protest, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar remain detained in Greece.

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Jailed Arma developers Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar are no closer to being released. A representative from publisher Bohemia Interactive told GameSpot today that due to ongoing strife related to the Greek judiciary, no progress towards their trial or release has been made.

"Regrettably, we understand that, due to ongoing union action / protest by the Greek judiciary, no progress has been possible," the company said.

Protests will continue until at least November 21, according to a recent update from the Greek Association of Judges and Prosecutors.

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 were 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.

Discussion

140 comments
Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

From this article on PC Gamers, which has a bit more info from a Czech news site, it sounds like the two devs have not been subjected to undue delay.

 

http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/11/17/bohemia-arma-3-developers-greece-appeal/

 

They've been in jail for less than 70 days, and their appeal (I assume maybe a motion to dismiss the charges) has already been rejected. The US federal statutes governing the time limit between arrest, or was it arraignment, and indictment is I think 60 days barring any motions or continuances that lead to extensions, something that could have been used for espionage charges. I don't know the Greek legal code, but the time frame doesn't sound dragged out. Since they've now entered the pre-trial phase, I wish them the best of luck.

 

That is not to say the devs are more guilty than before, but I want to introduce some balance to my comments. Just as the devs should not be looked at as though they are already guilty of a crime, the Greek judiciary should not be seen as government boogieman out to make the two's lives miserable. Espionage is a serious crime which may even bring implicit diplomatic accusations against a sovereign state. Although I feel for the two devs and certainly don't want to be in their shoes, I actually support a thorough preparation both for the decision to indict and before the trial. I only hope that since they are just game developers, they be remitted to minimum or other appropriate detention centers that don't make their lives more miserable than necessary before the trial.

 

There is another possibility, one I only want to say on implicit, general terms. Something unsavory, from a legal perspective, sometimes creep into judicial proceedings of international relevance. Espionage figures prominently throughout history. I hope no regular civilian is ever used as a pawn in such power plays between governments. That would be a real tragedy, especially for the civilians involved.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

Do some people not understand the situation? These two devs have not been convicted of any crime. Reports of what they may or may not have in possession at the time of arrest is not sufficient to consider them guilty of any crime. Or have they been designated enemy non-combatants or given some other extra judicial status?

 

If their jail time without a trial is still within the Greek legal limit, so be it, but the Greek legal system should not otherwise be undermined by peaceful AND legal protests, by legal professionals no less. In either case, I find it absolutely shocking that some adopt the attitude "they deserve it" or "they'd be even worse off elsewhere." Though the later is probably true.

 

A lot of people look down on legal machination that protects those who, in the public eye, are already criminals. Take care your attitude toward the system least you find it wanting when you are on the receiving end of the stick.

bradrame
bradrame

Heavy Rain?  More like, heavy fart to the mouth!  Don't ask...

grin89
grin89

its a shame bush isnt in office he'd be like "their keeping Americans as prisoners and using oil on them shabby military bases lets go to war to get them americans and that oil out."

decoy1978
decoy1978

Fully within their right to hold people spying attempted or otherwise on a military compund. If this was in America and some sod wanted to take pictures of Camp Pendleton for video game references, they'd have a few thousand pissed off Marines making them crap in their pants.

 

Its just simple common sense that failed these guys. I'm sure they meant well and its just for a stupid game, but we all did things that we thought that was harmless when it really isn't. These guys will be released in due time and they will be smarter now for it. Lesson learned...

 

 

Centurion95
Centurion95

I wish them luck, with the strike in the judiciary and the goverment on the verge of collaspe they may be there for a real long time, hell they may be out when ARMA 4 comes out sadly

GeorgeSyll
GeorgeSyll

Let me help you morons out a bit.

 

Bohemia's side: 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.

 

Buchta and Pezlar's side: the two reportedly claiming that they were collecting reference material for the game.

 

Contradiction. Know what it means? Go google it.

GeorgeSyll
GeorgeSyll

They said they were documenting military instalations for a video game. They admit it, and they had no permission. Bohemia didnt even backed them up. They said that they were there on holidays. What did you expect to happen?

 

Stop blaming Greece you ignorant racists. They do what they should and have the absolute right to do.

 

Bohemia should have cared to obtain permission before sending those guys there, or at least, back them up in case the shit hit the fan. Turn on that damn thing you have in your head.

 

It's illegal to film and photograph military instalations ANYWERE in the world. In some countries you're even getting shot for that, no questions asked.

wexorian
wexorian

Cod devs can learn from them, this is how you make game and not copy paste :D

zombiewarrior07
zombiewarrior07

Perhaps Greece wants to hold them hostage for some financial crisis bail out money? :-O But seriously, this kinda thing reflects poorly on the Greek justice system, IMHO.

digigek
digigek

I can't simply believe that these people were totally "fool" or that they were just gathering material out of their passion for the game. The game is already at such an advanced stage, that makes it difficult to believe that such material would be of any use. Moreover, if Bohemia really wanted to offer a vivid virtual environment of the area, they should have buyed some maps, which are offered out there by many map-companies, without having to put in danger their own developers. This is not a joke or a silly matter as the area where these "fools" were taking photos is of paramount importance for the Greek defences. The island lies just some 40 or so kilometers away from the Turkish coast. 

 

Therefore, let the judiciary system in Greece do its job. If it is proved that these people were really so fooool, then I suppose they have already learned their lesson through a very painful way. But if not, then they will be in some serious trouble.

gokuss4z
gokuss4z

Just let the poor fools out already they learned there lesson.

tightwad34
tightwad34

While this is complete BS, there really isn't any one system out there that is truly unbiased or looking out for the good of the people. There will always be people in jail who shouldn't be there. Look at all the people being released here in America after 20 or more years behind bars because DNA evidence cleared them. Guess how many of them are black? There are so many reasons to despise the system.

DukeLazyNEET
DukeLazyNEET

This is true passion. We need more developers like this.

SilenceLasting
SilenceLasting

Even if they did take pictures and videos for the game, they did so in tourist accessible areas, so WHY is Greece not arresting all tourists?

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

How long can the devs be legally held without a trial? Surely even without a functioning judiciary they have to be released at some point.

Raelador21
Raelador21

 @Unfallen_Satan From the article you linked: In a report by Czech news site Rozhlas, a Greek court dismissed Buchta and Pezlar’s petition to appeal and denied bail, effectively sealing a required trial with a sentence up to 20 years for a guilty verdict.

 

They obviously think they have enough evidence against them to go to trial so you're right they haven't been convicted, but it doesn't look good for them either.

Kiaininja
Kiaininja

 @Unfallen_Satan It's the self serving government corrupted with lobbying and big money interest that is to blame for the deterioration of the how people view or expect of the legal system. Just look at how our laws after post 9-11 which started with the reasoning of defending ourselves against terrorist is now being used against us as a pretext for big brother to invade our privacy and detain anybody that don't conform with government policy. And what was once considered our democratic duty to protest against injustice within our government is now labeled unpatriotic or a traitor. It's easier for us to accuse other countries of undermining the legal system against our citizens but easier to look the other way when it isn't happening to one or our own. For example, just because you look like an Arab does that mean the police have the right to stop and frisk you without any proof that you were doing anything wrong. That is the world we live in where people young or old have accepted this twisted legal system because they don't think they have the power to change it. Maybe the commentators think that the devs staying a couple of months in jail is nothing to overreact for when many other people around the world is suffering much worse then they are. They should except they were in the wrong place in the wrong time and learn something about humility.

mullen1200
mullen1200

 @Unfallen_Satan  Many people are unable to find perspective. They also don't take time to really think about it before they post. And third there are a great deal of children that visit this site. I've just come to accept these things as an older gamer. Some people just need a little life experience and hardship will change their views a bit.

tmosborn
tmosborn

 @decoy1978 Plus they got a nice long stay in Greece with free room and board, what more could they want?

TheAgingGamer
TheAgingGamer

 @GeorgeSyll "Ignorant racists?" How is it racist? Greece isn't a race, it's a country. And when a country's legal system is failing to the point where people are getting jailed and not even receiving a trial, we are supposed to say "Good job Greece, keep up the good humanitarian work!"? I think you should think before calling other people ignorant. Regardless of whether or not they broke the law, to hold them without trial is grounds for criticism, and calling that criticism racist is just plain "ignorant" to use your phrase.

webpain
webpain

 @DaneGamer Well if that happened in the US they would be sent to Guantanamo and they would be mistreated and considered terrorists. In Greece at least they get cake in prison (according to Ivan's last phone call). The only thing which I agree with in general is the time it takes for Greek bureaucracy to act. They will be freed, but it will take some time. On the other hand you hear all this bull crap that they where there on "holidays" with "the single goal of experiencing the place that had inspired the virtual environments of Arma 3" . They where taking shots of military places where photography is explicitly forbidden (and quite well designated). Period. The same or much worse would happen in any other country.

webpain
webpain

 @Gomtor The overall impression is that you are a moron. I am pretty sure you are American so that would prove my point even more.

xarulis
xarulis

 @alphatango1 mickey mouse's army HAF 343 "star" squadron with f-16's on red flag 2008 vs f15's f'16s "aggresors"(considered one of the best) squadron of USAF. Final score HAF18-3 USAF on confirmed kills with second confrontation of 12 USAF aircarft vs 4 HAF ended in 8 kills for HAF ,3 for the USAF....thats the mickey mouse army we have.... 

webpain
webpain

 @alphatango1 If you did your research, you would easily find out that Limnos is one of the islands which is closest to Turkey, Greece's main geopolitical rival. US have sold tons of military hardware to Greece and most of it is sitting in Limnos. Even so, espionage is espionage no matter how large/sophisticated an army is. US has their UAVs and doesall the killing remotely :-)

Ablaoublas2
Ablaoublas2

 @alphatango1 Greece is second in military spending in the Nato countries.America is the first.

 

Greece is actually one of the biggest clients of germany's arms trade despite the crisis.You rarely hear that in the news though.Especially in the sectors of submarines and tanks.

 

Greece maintains currently approximately 1600 tanks compared to germany's 400.

 

Source(if you speak german or greek)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpxVMRNSzNA&feature=player_embedded

 

 

 

vrasidastd
vrasidastd

how does this reflects poorly on the justice system? plz explain! they are doing their job, if  the same thing happens in some other country they probably treat them worst..

tmosborn
tmosborn

 @digigek Yes "let the judiciary system in Greece do its job" which is to go on strike and do nothing whatsoever.

Left_4_Human
Left_4_Human

 @DukeLazyNEET This isn't passion, it's foolish, you cannot gather material from real army bases. Keep your head in place, video games ruined your mind.

webpain
webpain

 @SilenceLasting If caught taking pictures in areas where it is explicitly designated as prohibited, anyone would be arrested, even a Greek citizen. The same thing stands in any country, e.g. US. Try taking some nice pictures outside of the pentagon fence with a nice 400mm lens and a Canon 5D, and I am pretty sure you will almost immediately have some black suits taking you away for questioning.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @Kiaininja I agree with your points against loss of privacy protection, other statutes in the Patriot Act and similar bills, as well as racial profiling. The two devs, though, are not Americans; they are Czechs. From what I read on PC Gamer, the Czech government is reportedly helping the two the best it can. Thank goodness for that. It's not an issue that directly involves the US or US nationals. I hope all will bear that in mind when introducing their feelings toward the US in these comments

decoy1978
decoy1978

 @tmosborn Thats what I was thinking! A cush stay at the Greek Islands for taking a photo?! You get 3 meals a day, TV, and beddings? I've seen photos of some of these European jails, it beats Best Western and Motel 6 -_-

hector530
hector530

 @webpain  @DaneGamer yeah thats very unlikely but you properly only know of america in what you read in conspiracy websites 

TheAgingGamer
TheAgingGamer

 @webpain  @Gomtor Anyone who makes statements like "I am pretty sure you are American" clearly has no problems with being prejudice...

alphatango1
alphatango1

 @Ablaoublas2 

 

Yes and the same research source probably told you that Greece has the best economy in Europe.

kyphe
kyphe

 @Ablaoublas2  @alphatango1  hmmm Greek military budget is $9.3 billion, the UK is $62.7 billion, Uk is second after the US, France is third then German Italy and Canada.

 

Greece is the 12 in NATO for military spending just after Norway

Gonefishing95
Gonefishing95

 @hector530  @webpain  @DaneGamer Americas soldiers are well known for torturing people in Afghanistan for been a "Terrorist" ...wouldn't surprise me if they do that back in America

bradrame
bradrame

 @parrot_of_adun  @webpain Green Juices!!!! Green Juices!!!!Green Juices!!!!Green Juices!!!!Green Juices!!!!Green Juices!!!!Green Juices!!!!

Ablaoublas2
Ablaoublas2

 @alphatango1 No,not really.

The opposite actually.It examines how and why Greece spends huge amounts in military spending while at the same time its people suffer from poverty and unjust austerity measures.

 

In a nutshell:Germany and France have huge earnings from Greece's military spending and do nothing to stop it while at the same time pointing the finger at the ":bad" overspending Greece and demanding it keeps "povertising" its people.

 

I think you can see the contradiction.I'm sure you can find out more about it online.