Arrested ArmA 3 Devs Denied Appeal for Espionage Charges

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Arrested ArmA 3 Devs Denied Appeal for Espionage Charges

image

The two Bohemia Interactive employees could face 20 years in jail if found guilty in Greek court.

The ArmA 3 developers accused of espionage earlier this year have been refused bail and are set to face trial before Greek court.

Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar were denied appeal for the spying charges made against them earlier this year. The decision came after almost 70 days of waiting, partly due to strikes in the Greek legal system stemming from protests against austerity measures for the troubled region.

If found guilty, the pair could serve up to 20 years in jail.

The mother of Ivan Buchta gave a statement after the announcement, saying that the families of the accused have been possibly "too optimistic" and put too much faith in the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help resolve the situation.

"The last telephone call from our boys has drastically changed the situation," reads a translation of her statement. "In the previous calls we have assured them that everything is being done to save them and they assured us that they're holding it together as well as they can.

"They no longer tell us that it's alright... After this judicial decision we have heard from Martin and Ivan something that no parent wants to hear. During the phone call, they basically told us one thing: 'Mom, Dad, please save us'."

The developers were arrested early this year while on vacation in Lemnos when law enforcement allegedly discovered images of military installations on a camcorder and camera in their possession.

At the time, the Czech government claimed that the men knowingly entered an area that was off-limits. Bohemia Interactive stated that the accusations were "completely false and without substance", saying that the developers were in public areas when they were taking the footage.

Source: helpivanmartin.org, Eurogamer

Permalink

This situation is really getting out of hand isn't it?

I'm not one for empathy but I worry for the well being of these two. The last thing you'd expect a game dev to go to jail for would be god damn espionage.

Wow Greece just cant do anything right, not their economy or their legal system.

Ok guys, who wants to come to Greece with me and bust these two out? I'll bring the C4.

I'm kidding, jeez! I really shouldn't have to put such a disclaimer, but considering what happened to these guys, I don't want to take chance.

CardinalPiggles:
Ok guys, who wants to come to Greece with me and bust these two out? I'll bring the C4.

I'm kidding, jeez! I really shouldn't have to put such a disclaimer, but considering what happened to these guys, I don't want to take chance.

I'm in.

More seriously, can we actually do something for them? Sign a petition or something? Contact our representatives? Call in an AC130?

Just as I thought, it's fucking Fascists. They're gunna turn this into a fucking condemnation of all foreigners.

just give greece some money and they will be released in no time. beggars cant be choosers...

Send in the SAS! Please? Jokes aside this is a major injustice an the EU or the UN needs to step in to free the innocents.

Snooping around a foreign country's military base should definitely be punished, regardless of your reasons for doing so. However, 20 years is absolutely ridiculous for this situation.

bfgmetalhead:
Send in the SAS! Please? Jokes aside this is a major injustice an the EU or the UN needs to step in to free the innocents.

Innocent my arse, I strongly recommend that you look at this page http://products.bisimulations.com/training . Bohemia interactive sell military training based on its 3D environments. So you have a company that sells military training, building an 3D model of a base next to the Turkish coast. Seeing that Greece and Turkey have spent most of the last 1000 years at war with one another, Bohemia have at least been stupid and at worst have been building a 3d model of vital Greek base with a view to selling it to Turkey.

The Plunk:
Snooping around a foreign country's military base should definitely be punished, regardless of your reasons for doing so. However, 20 years is absolutely ridiculous for this situation.

apparently their snooping was filming footage on the way from the hotel back to the airport to go back home. there was apparently a military hanger in the background at the airport. they werent even there on official business. according to whats been released, they liked the place from their research and decided to go on holiday

the local government there has a real grudge against bohemia interactive for basing the next game on their island. apparently they got pissed that it will be depicted as a warzone..

wombat_of_war:

The Plunk:
Snooping around a foreign country's military base should definitely be punished, regardless of your reasons for doing so. However, 20 years is absolutely ridiculous for this situation.

apparently their snooping was filming footage on the way from the hotel back to the airport to go back home. there was apparently a military hanger in the background at the airport. they werent even there on official business. according to whats been released, they liked the place from their research and decided to go on holiday

the local government there has a real grudge against bohemia interactive for basing the next game on their island. apparently they got pissed that it will be depicted as a warzone..

They got pissed at a company building a model of a strategically important island by a company that sells military training.

They went onto the base and without permission. Doesn't matter why they did the crime and they should do the time. Good on Greece for throwing the book @ those idiots. My sympathy for them is less than 0.

Well all I can say is fuck Greece.

Pretty much shows that Greece is to the EU as a few states are to the US; bumb-fuck retarded.

Granted I should wait to see if they can get their heads out of their asses and let these two go or if they convict them

albino boo:

wombat_of_war:

The Plunk:
Snooping around a foreign country's military base should definitely be punished, regardless of your reasons for doing so. However, 20 years is absolutely ridiculous for this situation.

apparently their snooping was filming footage on the way from the hotel back to the airport to go back home. there was apparently a military hanger in the background at the airport. they werent even there on official business. according to whats been released, they liked the place from their research and decided to go on holiday

the local government there has a real grudge against bohemia interactive for basing the next game on their island. apparently they got pissed that it will be depicted as a warzone..

They got pissed at a company building a model of a strategically important island by a company that sells military training.

You do realise that the recreation of the island is far removed from reality and thus a 1 to 1 recreation? You could not use it anymore to plan an invasion of the island than GTAIV to navigate New York.

Saulkar:

albino boo:

wombat_of_war:

apparently their snooping was filming footage on the way from the hotel back to the airport to go back home. there was apparently a military hanger in the background at the airport. they werent even there on official business. according to whats been released, they liked the place from their research and decided to go on holiday

the local government there has a real grudge against bohemia interactive for basing the next game on their island. apparently they got pissed that it will be depicted as a warzone..

They got pissed at a company building a model of a strategically important island by a company that sells military training.

You do realise that the recreation of the island is far removed from reality and thus a 1 to 1 recreation? You could not use it anymore to plan an invasion of the island than GTAIV to navigate New York.

So why did they spend money on sending people to to photograph the island then? Just because the model in the game isn't a 1 to 1 recreation does not mean they can't use the information to build one. The model has one very obvious customer in Turkey, who the Greeks have been war with for the most of the last 1000 years. Why even use that Greek island out of the 100s that Greece has? Why choose one of the most strategically important islands as opposed to Eubeoa which has no importance what so ever?

albino boo:

Saulkar:

albino boo:

They got pissed at a company building a model of a strategically important island by a company that sells military training.

You do realise that the recreation of the island is far removed from reality and thus a 1 to 1 recreation? You could not use it anymore to plan an invasion of the island than GTAIV to navigate New York.

So why did they spend money on sending people to to photograph the island then? Just because the model in the game isn't a 1 to 1 recreation does not mean they can't use the information to build one. The model has one very obvious customer in Turkey, who the Greeks have been war with for the most of the last 1000 years. Why even use that Greek island out of the 100s that Greece has? Why choose one of the most strategically important islands as opposed to Eubeoa which has no importance what so ever?

Why send photographers and artists to Venezuela for the film UP? Why send photographers and artists to Scotland for the film Brave? Why send photographers and artists around Washington D.C. for Fallout 3? Inspiration.

I can't use any of the information from those two films and game to plan... anything. The island in the game does not have the same scale, the military installations are completely, COMPLETELY re-imagined and not even in the same places given that they are all set up by NATO and Iran fifteen to twenty years from now in an alternative timeline.

The one airport in the game that exists today is completely visible on Google-maps and does not look exactly the same as the in game trailers. Hell most of the structures in the game despite sharing architecture do not look the same (most notably military based ones).

The roads in the game do not completely line up/exist at all with the real thing despite the availability of Google-maps. Furthermore the towns and city(ies) are almost completely re-imagined with a skewed layout.

Lastly the team that develops the military contracted simulators and the team that develops the games are completely separate with no overlap. They have two completely different pursuits/game engine derivatives.

P.S. The reason they chose Limnos is because it does indeed have real life relevance but the fact that anything the game can do, you can do infinitely better with Google maps. Turkey at any time can download heightmaps and satellite images of Limnos and recreate an even more accurate version of Limnos in Arma 2 before Arma 3 is even released.

Man, some countries are fucking scary. Here's hoping it works out.

The7Sins:
They went onto the base and without permission. Doesn't matter why they did the crime and they should do the time. Good on Greece for throwing the book @ those idiots. My sympathy for them is less than 0.

But is 20 years a reasonable time?

If you end up in prison for three months for jaywalking, remember this day...

I personally think that the seventy days they've already been in plus a hammer to the camcorder should be enough.

lacktheknack:

The7Sins:
They went onto the base and without permission. Doesn't matter why they did the crime and they should do the time. Good on Greece for throwing the book @ those idiots. My sympathy for them is less than 0.

But is 20 years a reasonable time?

If you end up in prison for three months for jaywalking, remember this day...

Sounds reasonable to me.

Also your comparing bullshit law to an actual serious offense. A better example would be me being arrested for driving on a sidewalk to get around a school bus. :P

And also I'd be very unlikely to get arrested for jaywalking. I rarely leave the house. The lone benefit to being unemployed.

The7Sins:

lacktheknack:

The7Sins:
They went onto the base and without permission. Doesn't matter why they did the crime and they should do the time. Good on Greece for throwing the book @ those idiots. My sympathy for them is less than 0.

But is 20 years a reasonable time?

If you end up in prison for three months for jaywalking, remember this day...

Sounds reasonable to me.

Also your comparing bullshit law to an actual serious offense. A better example would be me being arrested for driving on a sidewalk to get around a school bus. :P

And also I'd be very unlikely to get arrested for jaywalking. I rarely leave the house. The lone benefit to being unemployed.

You might notice that the woman who drove on the sidewalk to avoid an unloading schoolbus was sentenced to a 30-day license suspension, $250 and two hours on a sidewalk holding an "I'm An Idiot" sign (seriously).

Her tougher critics recommended "five days in jail".

How you think that 20 years in prison for misguided trespassing with a camera is reasonable is alien and terrifying to me.

The7Sins:
They went onto the base and without permission. Doesn't matter why they did the crime and they should do the time. Good on Greece for throwing the book @ those idiots. My sympathy for them is less than 0.

I've been following this situation for a while now, and nowhere have I seen proof that they wandered onto a military base without permission. Would you care to cite a credible source for that claim?

Saulkar:

albino boo:

Saulkar:

You do realise that the recreation of the island is far removed from reality and thus a 1 to 1 recreation? You could not use it anymore to plan an invasion of the island than GTAIV to navigate New York.

So why did they spend money on sending people to to photograph the island then? Just because the model in the game isn't a 1 to 1 recreation does not mean they can't use the information to build one. The model has one very obvious customer in Turkey, who the Greeks have been war with for the most of the last 1000 years. Why even use that Greek island out of the 100s that Greece has? Why choose one of the most strategically important islands as opposed to Eubeoa which has no importance what so ever?

Why send photographers and artists to Venezuela for the film UP? Why send photographers and artists to Scotland for the film Brave? Why send photographers and artists around Washington D.C. for Fallout 3? Inspiration.

I can't use any of the information from those two films and game to plan... anything. The island in the game does not have the same scale, the military installations are completely, COMPLETELY re-imagined and not even in the same places given that they are all set up by NATO and Iran fifteen to twenty years from now in an alternative timeline.

The one airport in the game that exists today is completely visible on Google-maps and does not look exactly the same as the in game trailers. Hell most of the structures in the game despite sharing architecture do not look the same (most notably military based ones).

The roads in the game do not completely line up/exist at all with the real thing despite the availability of Google-maps. Furthermore the towns and city(ies) are almost completely re-imagined with a skewed layout.

Lastly the team that develops the military contracted simulators and the team that develops the games are completely separate with no overlap. They have two completely different pursuits/game engine derivatives.

P.S. The reason they chose Limnos is because it does indeed have real life relevance but the fact that anything the game can do, you can do infinitely better with Google maps. Turkey at any time can download heightmaps and satellite images of Limnos and recreate an even more accurate version of Limnos in Arma 2 before Arma 3 is even released.

There really no way to tell if these guys were really on the Arma team or the VBS team. It doesn't really matter as the information they bring back was a great possibility that it was going to be used by both teams. I could argue if it was just Arma, that would be one thing, but since there was a possibility of being used for VBS, I would agree with the espionage charges. 20 years may be a bit much, but if they were in my country, I would want a stiffer penalty.

Truly, the eradication of these enemies of the state shall herald a golden dawn for the nation. Griechenland über alles!

(Translation: What a bunch of fascists.)

Jubbert:
Wow Greece just cant do anything right, not their economy or their legal system.

See, Greece is a sovereign nation. As such, they have the right to protect their military secrets.

Are the developers telling the truth? Probably (note: I only said probably, the stories from WW2 about what those spies did and said to get info is crazy)

Can the developers prove this in court? That will remain to be seen. I suspect the trial out-come is 70-30% odds against the developers.

lacktheknack:

The7Sins:

lacktheknack:

But is 20 years a reasonable time?

If you end up in prison for three months for jaywalking, remember this day...

Sounds reasonable to me.

Also your comparing bullshit law to an actual serious offense. A better example would be me being arrested for driving on a sidewalk to get around a school bus. :P

And also I'd be very unlikely to get arrested for jaywalking. I rarely leave the house. The lone benefit to being unemployed.

You might notice that the woman who drove on the sidewalk to avoid an unloading schoolbus was sentenced to a 30-day license suspension, $250 and two hours on a sidewalk holding an "I'm An Idiot" sign (seriously).

Her tougher critics recommended "five days in jail".

How you think that 20 years in prison for misguided trespassing with a camera is reasonable is alien and terrifying to me.

Look up WW2 history of spying. Then you can understand the caution nations will take.

Even innocuous things like how many soldiers are stationed there or where the supplies come into base or weak points in the perimeter can be used by enemy combatants too launch a raid/attack.

I hope the courts goes easy on the devs, but I also would understand 5 years (minimum).

I think a severe form of trespassing and a fine would have been sufficient. If you read the definition of Espionage and Spying that's not really what they were doing if it was merely research for a game. It doesn't seem that espionage was their intent.

Dumb move to go poking around where they weren't supposed to go, but jail time, especially something crazy like 20 years is just insane and completely disproportionate.

Just look at the film in the camera. (or footage, whatever, since it was probably not film)
That will indicate where they were filming from, and whether the spot was off limits or public. How hard is it for a judge to review a video tape?

lol funny to see if something happen that makes YANKS think they have a right to give comments on injustice.....stfu - there will be a trial etc etc IF they can prove that they broke a law they be sentenced - not guilty till proven otherwise remember - that concept COMES OUT OF OF GREECE for crying out loud - and before u be a smart ass and tell me its roman law - dig depper and checke where the fellas on the boot got that idea.
anyway seems like another excuse for the collective interwebs to get their panties in a bunch

Akalabeth:
Just look at the film in the camera. (or footage, whatever, since it was probably not film)
That will indicate where they were filming from, and whether the spot was off limits or public. How hard is it for a judge to review a video tape?

i agree with u to some extent but u are talkin about a country that is TECHNIQUALLY at war

ischmalud:

Akalabeth:
Just look at the film in the camera. (or footage, whatever, since it was probably not film)
That will indicate where they were filming from, and whether the spot was off limits or public. How hard is it for a judge to review a video tape?

i agree with u to some extent but u are talkin about a country that is TECHNIQUALLY at war

Well it depends, if the charges require them to be in an off limits area it makes a difference. If they're just filming from a public area it's a bit different. If the charges are just based upon them filming it's a bit different.

"What proof do you have these two aren't spies?"
"See these two games? these guys worked on them. Here is a thousand tonnes of evidence they are goddamn nerds!"
"Well....they COULD be spies."
"NEEEEERRRDS!"
"...shit."

How I hope the trial will go.

lacktheknack:

The7Sins:

lacktheknack:

But is 20 years a reasonable time?

If you end up in prison for three months for jaywalking, remember this day...

Sounds reasonable to me.

Also your comparing bullshit law to an actual serious offense. A better example would be me being arrested for driving on a sidewalk to get around a school bus. :P

And also I'd be very unlikely to get arrested for jaywalking. I rarely leave the house. The lone benefit to being unemployed.

You might notice that the woman who drove on the sidewalk to avoid an unloading schoolbus was sentenced to a 30-day license suspension, $250 and two hours on a sidewalk holding an "I'm An Idiot" sign (seriously).

Her tougher critics recommended "five days in jail".

How you think that 20 years in prison for misguided trespassing with a camera is reasonable is alien and terrifying to me.

Her sentence was bullshit I agree. It was just the first crime that came to me that was funny.

CardinalPiggles:
Ok guys, who wants to come to Greece with me and bust these two out? I'll bring the C4.

I'm kidding, jeez! I really shouldn't have to put such a disclaimer, but considering what happened to these guys, I don't want to take chance.

I get the blowtorch if that doesn't work! And guns. Lots of guns...

OT: I've been following this story since the beginning, and its just getting grimmer and grimmer for these 2. And the game as well. Hate to sound disrespectful but what does this mean for the development? The latest news on the site is from the last E3. Seems this arrest has brought the games development cycle to a snails pace. Best of luck too them but the news is just getting worse...

Gilhelmi:

Jubbert:
Wow Greece just cant do anything right, not their economy or their legal system.

See, Greece is a sovereign nation. As such, they have the right to protect their military secrets.

Are the developers telling the truth? Probably (note: I only said probably, the stories from WW2 about what those spies did and said to get info is crazy)

Can the developers prove this in court? That will remain to be seen. I suspect the trial out-come is 70-30% odds against the developers.

Now see, I happen to come from America, and not a fascist hellhole, so the idea that innocence needs to be proven is an alien concept to me.

Devoneaux:

Gilhelmi:

Jubbert:
Wow Greece just cant do anything right, not their economy or their legal system.

See, Greece is a sovereign nation. As such, they have the right to protect their military secrets.

Are the developers telling the truth? Probably (note: I only said probably, the stories from WW2 about what those spies did and said to get info is crazy)

Can the developers prove this in court? That will remain to be seen. I suspect the trial out-come is 70-30% odds against the developers.

Now see, I happen to come from America, and not a fascist hellhole, so the idea that innocence needs to be proven is an alien concept to me.

Which is odd considering Mexico quite famously (wrongly or not) had a "presumption of guilt" system of law as recently as 2009 (there was a movie made about it). Presumption of innocence is far from universal.

Now, Greece being an EU state means they've signed up to the European Bill of Human Rights, which does have the presumption of innocence clause, but considering just how many other things Greece was allowed to get away with that other EU members have had to enforce, it is no surprise to me that their legal system has been allowed to continue without being updated.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here