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 ArmA  espionage suspects denied bail in Greece
ArmA espionage suspects denied bail in Greece
November 19, 2012 | By Mike Rose

November 19, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

More than two months after a couple of developers from Czech studio Bohemia Interactive (ArmA) were arrested over espionage suspicions, the pair has had an appeal against the charges denied.

Bohemia's Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar were originally taken in after allegedly capturing video and photos of a military installation in Greece for an upcoming ArmA game.

According to local news sites, and as translated by Eurogamer, Buchta and Pezlar have now been denied bail and will be tried before a court in Greece. They could face up to 20 years in prison.

In the meantime, the families of the pair have spoken out, stating that the conditions they are being subjected to have been abysmal.

They're in a cell with over 25 people, they sleep on the ground," Buchta's father Miloslav stated. "They have food twice a day.

His mother added, "Our boys no longer tell us on the phone that it's alright, that they're handling it. After the court's decision we only hear from them something that no parent ever wants to hear: Mom, dad, please save us."

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Maria Jayne
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I don't understand why they thought they could take some photos of military installations in a foreign country and it would be fine....I can't condone their treatment but I can't condemn Greece for wanting to protect itself from espionage. I'm pretty sure most countries would react badly to that, especially when your employer won't confirm your story. If you say you're researching a video game and Bohemia say no they are just having a Holiday that looks bad.

I hope these guys get home soon.

Leopold Novak
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They did not knowingly take photos of any military installations. They were taking photos of scenery and 7 out of 250 photos had some military objects in the background. As you can see in this video
d#t=388s this "military base" is right next to the civil airport (so the person who took this video should be arrested too, I guess).
And the initial reports - which claimed they were researching a video game - were false. They were saying they were on a holiday from beginning. Arma III is almost finished so why would they doing a research now? Also Arma III will not contain any real life military base, only the real island, which will be modified to fit the game.

Terry Matthes
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Who is Greece fooling? The country is falling apart from the inside out and they are trying to convict game developers of espionage. This is beyond a joke. If they were citizens of the UK, Canada, USA, France etc. they would have been home in their beds by now. At least articles like this raise awareness so political pressure can hopefully get them home faster.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse but espionage is a motive not just a crime, and likely not their intention.

warren blyth
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This situation sounds horrible, and I hope these guys find a way to be released.

But I feel like there's another side to all this that isn't being mentioned, because Bohemia Interactive also develops high end simulation software for military use. (4 years ago, I was under the impression they made Virtual Battlespace 2 first, using Military contracts, and just released ArmA later as a spin off to leverage their engine in the game industry. So saying they were there to research ArmA confuses me. But I've also been pretty disconnected from that hardcore sim industry for several years now).