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Arma III devs make bail

Arma III devs make bail

Tue 15 Jan 2013 7:00pm GMT / 2:00pm EST / 11:00am PST
PoliticsGames

Bohemia rep confirms developers arrested on suspicion of espionage say pair will return to Czech Republic soon

Bohemia Interactive

Established in 1999 in Prague, Czech Republic, Bohemia Interactive is an independent game development...

bistudio.com

Bohemia Interactive developers Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta are going to be free some four months after being arrested on suspicion of spying in Greece. That's according to a variety of Czech press reports compiled and released on HelpIvanMartin.org, a site created to help the developers win their freedom.

The pair are expected to be freed on 5,000 euros ($6,687) bail each, and will return to the Czech Republic soon after their release. They were originally arrested in September on the island of Lemnos, after allegedly filming military facilities. They insisted that they were simply on vacation.

The developers' case drew global attention, with Czech Republic leader Václav Klaus publicly appealing to Greek president Karolos Papoulias to pay close attention to the proceedings, lest they sour relations between the countries. The saga has been drawn out further by Greek judges and prosecutors holding strikes in protest of austerity measures, causing delays in the courts.

UPDATE: Boehmia spokesperson Ota Vrtatko confirmed that Pezlar and Buchta have been granted bail.

"It is obviously wonderful news and we're very happy that Ivan and Martin may finally return home after four months of detainment in Greece," Vrtatko said. "We're prepared to further help them and their families in any way necessary and we are looking forward to meeting our friends and colleagues Ivan and Martin again soon. It goes without saying that this is a huge relief for Ivan and Martin, their families and all of us at Bohemia Interactive, we send greetings and thanks to everyone that has supported the boys over the past four months."

6 Comments

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,210 2,049 0.9
Glad to hear they get to finally go home.

Absolutely insane that it took this long though...despite the austerity strikes.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Yiannis Koumoutzelis
Founder & Creative Director

356 181 0.5
There was no doubt they would let them go eventually, and here's a bit more info that than just "developers got arrested and they don't let them go" http://tinyurl.com/aos35cy

Bohemia also creates military training sims so there were reasonable considerations that these photos could possibly be used for military purposes. Something of utmost importance in one of the most heavily militarized zones of greece. http://products.bisimulations.com/

Posted:A year ago

#2

Peter Dwyer
Games Designer/Developer

458 254 0.6
@Yiannis

I tried to tell the guys on here this very info a while back. It's good that as game developers we all stick up for one another at times but, reality isn't always some ideal black and white photo. The Arma devs were already warned not to take photos yet did so anyway. It wasn't like they just happened to be accused of spying for no reason. They simply seemed to think that other contries laws and rules could be ignored with no consequences.

It's the same excuse smuggler tourists seem to have. Thinking their embassy will somehow make it all go away with no fallout to them (us British and American tourists seem to be the worst for this mistaken belief). It's good they get to go home but, it's not like they didn't actively cause the situation in the first place so they get limited sympathy from me at best.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,716 598 0.3
@Jim Webb

Agreed.
Not good for Greek tourism. But I go to Turkey these days because they don't have the Euro, so everything is far cheaper.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Joshua Rose
Executive Producer / Lead Designer

191 74 0.4
YAY!!!

So glad to hear this... I'm sure they're going to be spending quite some time with their families, and rightly so after that fiasco.

Hopefully that's the kind of jump start they need to finish up the DayZ standalone development. Can't wait!

Posted:A year ago

#5

Yiannis Koumoutzelis
Founder & Creative Director

356 181 0.5
@Bruce
And you are not the only one! Even greeks go to Turkey for that same reason! :) Not sure this is bad for tourism though, not many people apart from game developers find it wrong despite the sympathy. Hundreds of tourists take photos against millitary installations every year in Greece, so have no doubt they definitely did something more than that which caused their arrest. Of course their are not spies, but they are tresspassers of a military installation who got caught taking photos!

In any case, great that they got bail, all the best for their trial, and their life from here onwards. On other good news, I hear that tourist reservations in Greece are up 20% this year. It appears the huge discounts last year kind of worked!

Posted:A year ago

#6

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