BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 4 November, 2002, 11:16 GMT
Timeline: Plane-spotters saga
Plane-spotters
The group were shocked by their convictions
Eleven of the British plane-spotters convicted of spying in Greece have cleared their names in an appeal hearing.

BBC News Online retraces the group's last twelve months.

8 November, 2001
A group of 11 British men and one British woman, plus two Dutch men, are arrested in the southern Greek town of Kalamata on suspicion of espionage after allegedly gathering secret information at a military air base.

12 November
The group is remanded in police custody after testifying before an investigating magistrate.

21 November
Further charges are brought against the group, accusing them of taking notes and aircraft numbers at the high-security Megara military base.

22 November
Europe minister Peter Hain raises the spotters' plight with the Greek Government.

30 November
Labour MEP Richard Howitt visits the spotters in jail and says there are "grave concerns" about their case.

4 December
British officials protest to the Greek foreign ministry over delays in the case after it is revealed that a prosecution report setting out the evidence has not yet been prepared.

10 December
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw meets Greek counterpart George Papandreou to appeal for the swift release of the spotters.

12 December
The judges reduce charges from a felony to a misdemeanour and grant them freedom on bail of about 9,000 each.

14 December
The group is finally released and flies home.

24 April, 2002
The 12 fly back out to Kalamata where the trial begins.

26 April
Paul Coppin, Peter Norris, Antoni Adamiak, Andrew Jenkins, Graham Arnold and Garry Fagan are all convicted of spying and sentenced to three years in jail.

The sentences are suspended when they all lodge appeals.

Lesley Coppin, Michael Keane, Michael Bursell, Steve Rush, Christopher Wilson and Wayne Groves are all convicted of aiding and abetting and given one-year suspended sentences.

They also lodge appeals and the group fly back to Britain immediately.

4 November
The appeal is begins. Eleven of the 12 convicted Britons face the Kalamata courtroom again.

Michael Keane, of Dartford in Kent, was advised not to return to Greece on health grounds.

6 November
After lengthy deliberations, the Greek judges decide to acquit all 11 and the two Dutch men.

Michael Keane's conviction is upheld as he did not attend the appeal.


Key stories

FEATURES
Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes