Criminal charges dropped against 35 international aid workers

The rescue vessel of the NGO Mare Liberum is seen at the port of Mytilene on the island of Lesvos, March 5, 2020. [Mare Liberum/Handout via Reuters]

Authorities have dropped criminal charges against dozens of international aid workers, ranging from spying to facilitating what authorities had called illegal entry into the country through the island of Lesvos, court documents showed on Tuesday.

Most of the 35 people, accused in 2020 of setting up a criminal organization and providing support to traffickers ferrying migrants, were German nationals. The rest included people from Norway, Austria, France, Spain, Switzerland and Bulgaria. They were arrested and had denied wrongdoing at the time.

The case was dropped due to inadequate evidence, the documents seen by Reuters showed.

"The detailed investigation of the case file has resoundingly quashed the police narrative which was pure fiction," said Zacharias Kesses, a lawyer representing some of the aid workers.

The case was based on a 2020 operation by...

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