Aegean spies: What was found on the cook's cell phone after they blamed each other?

Turkish consulate worker

The cook and secretary accused of spying against Greece were sentenced by a unanimous decision by the Rhodes Investigator and the Public Prosecutor of Rhodes to temporary detention.

This was decided after a process that started early in the afternoon yesterday and ended just before 9pm.

The defendants' lawyers fought hard in order for their clients to avoid pre-trial detention, which ultimately proved impossible.

Their lawyers argued that the decision to remand them in custody was not based on legal criteria's and claimed that the two defendants were not suspected of attempting to flee abroad since between the pre-trial investigation and the main interrogation, a week passed "without making even a preparatory move to leave the country".

In fact, they stood by the fact that in the case file there were no copies of the messages exchanged, nor photos as all the material is still in the forensic laboratories.

However, an investigator and a prosecutor considered both as fugitive suspects, which is why they ordered their temporary detention.

The mutual accusations

During the process, the two exchanged accusations.

The former cook of a ship that operated between Kastellorizo and Rhodes, Nezadin Mehmet, said before the prosecutor and investigator that the secretary tried to trap him, characterizing him as dangerous.

The latter, a 35-year-old secretary at the Turkish Consulate of Rhodes, claimed that the accusations leveled against him by the cook do not correspond to reality and that they are all myths that came out of his mind.

Specifically, the 52-year-old cook said that his acquaintance with Sebahattin Bayram, the secretary, was only for about 25 days and that he could not learn anything that would endanger national security.

Nezadin Mehmet and Sebahattin Bayram.

He said he had met him a few times for coffee, but in the end he realized he was going to get him in trouble.

Mehmet added that he came to this conclusion when he spoke to his wife about his acquaintance with the secretary of the Turkish Consulate in Rhodes, expressing his persistent interest in sensitive information concerning the Armed Forces.

According to the cook, his wife advised him to "Stay away from him."

That's why, as he explained, he started deleting everything, names and calls he had with him.

"For 40 days until we were caught, I had no contact with him. I did not give him any information about the ships," he said.

Bayram testified that he had only recently met the 52-year-old cook in the context of social contacts and his meetings with him were friendly as they both come from Komotini, a major town for Greek Muslims in Thrace, and have common acquaintances.

Contrary to the testimony given by the 52-year-old cook, where he stated that the secretary of the consulate was the one who approached him, the latter said the exact opposite.

Turkish Consulate in Rhodes.
Turkish Consulate in Rhodes.

Bayram claims that they started meeting on his own initiative at a social and friendly level, and precisely because they had grown up in the same area and they were both in Rhodes.

During their meetings, he said the subject of discussions was their families, food, motorcycles, cars and their common concern about COVID-19.

"In the aforementioned context, with Nezadin Mehmet (52-year-old cook) we started friendly conversations and in the context of this - but also in general - I never had any action, activity, behavior or position that according to the laws of our country would be a criminal offense," he told the court but without convincing anyone.

The documents

Although the aggravating evidence against the two men is said to be many and even serious enough to lead the investigator and prosecutor to the unanimous decision for their temporary detention, they were not presented in court.

This is because both the computer of the 35-year-old secretary, as well as the mobile phones of both, are in forensic laboratories being investigated.

However, according to police sources, the documents collected by Greek intelligence in collaboration with the State Security, whose men had been watching the 52-year-old cook for months, testify that the latter proved to be careless in his movements.

In addition to taking thousands of photographs with his mobile phone and eavesdropping on conversations between Greek soldiers traveling on the ship he worked, he got to the point of talking to soldiers to extract information.

However, this was immediately apparent to the soldiers who also raised the alarm to their superiors.

It is said that inside the high-tech mobile phone that the cook had, thousands of photos were found showing camps, ships, soldiers and other sensitive material.

Based on the same information, State Security men are said to have videotaped the 52-year-old cook while photographing Greek warships as well as sensitive areas.

Frixos Drakontidis is a correspondent for Proto Thema.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor