Greek court jails Turk for crossing border ‘by mistake’

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A Greek court sentenced a Turkish municipality employee to five months in jail on Thursday for crossing the Greek border along Turkey's western Edirne province “by mistake” on Wednesday, according to Greek media.

Greek soldiers arrested Musa Alerik, 38, on the charge of illegally crossing the border; he was presented before a court in Greece's northeastern Evros province's Orestiada district on Thursday.

The court handed down a five-month jail term on Alerik and also fined him 1,500 euros (1,800$), Kathimerini media reported.

His prison sentence was suspended for three years, it added.

The court also ordered the seizure of the construction machine used by Alerik at the time of his arrest since he was unable to show documents that could prove the ownership of the vehicle.

Following the court’s decision, Alerik's deportation procedure began.

In his testimony, Alerik told the court he had crossed over to the Greek side by just one meter due to a mistake, and while he was trying to return he was arrested by Greek soldiers.

Meanwhile, Alerik's son Onur Alerik said he was waiting for his father's arrival at Pazarkule Border Gate in Edirne and he told reporters he would be happy when his father gets his freedom.

*Hakan Mehmet Sahin contributed to this report from Edirne in Turkey.

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