Planespotters return to Greek justice

A SUFFOLK couple are flying out to Greece today to begin a week-long fight to win back their lives and their freedom.Planespotter Paul Coppin, and his wife Lesley, spent 37 nights in custody after being accused of spying by the Greek authorities.

A SUFFOLK couple were flying out to Greece today to begin a week-long fight to win back their lives and their freedom.

Planespotter Paul Coppin, and his wife Lesley, spent 37 nights in custody after being accused of spying by the Greek authorities.

Now, the couple, from Mildenhall, are returning to face a trial which they are confident will see them acquitted of charges they have branded "ludicrous".

If they lose, the couple could be thrown back into the Greek prison cells where they were incarcerated last November, for up to five years.

Paul, 45, and Lesley, 51 are flying to the southern Greek town of Kalamata.

The couple were among a group of planespotters arrested at an air base for allegedly gathering secret information.

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Thrown in custody with virtually no explanation and held for weeks on end, the planespotters' plight prompted widespread international condemnation of the Greek judicial system.

Politicians from Britain and Europe, fought for the 14, which includes two Dutch men, to be freed.

Released on bail in December, at a cost of £9,000 each, the group are now set to return to fight for the espionage accusations to be dropped.

"The whole thing is ludicrous," Mr Coppin said. "We have pushed very hard to go back and clear our names."

Grandmother Lesley is the only woman among the accused. Not interested in planespotting, she only went on the trip, organised by Paul, as a belated honeymoon.

"We were all incensed at what happened – we were locked up for 37 nights for going to an airbase which we were invited to by a member of the Greek military," he said.

"So far it's been a cock-up followed by a cover-up. Now we are going to get it sorted out," he said.

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