Bail Denied For ArmA 3 Devs In Greece

Things aren’t going well for the ArmA 3 devs arrested last summer while scouting locations for use in the upcoming game.

In September, despite warnings, posted by Greek gamers to the ArmA 3 forums, that photographing certain military locations is a giant no-no in the Hellenic republic (and everywhere), the 2 dev team members, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, apparently decided to disregard that warning. They sauntered over to the island of Limnos, allegedly took pictures of the military base, and were promptly arrested and charged with espionage, surprising not a single person at EVERY MOMENT OF HUMAN HISTORY EVER.

Honestly, taking unauthorized pictures of high security installations is one of the classic blunders, along with starting a land war in Asia and matching wits with a Sicilian when death is on the line. It’s shocking that Bohemia Interactive would ever allow their employees to do it, and in fairness, both Bohemia and the men in question insist they absolutely did not take the snaps they were accused of taking. Granted, they did announce on their forums that they were planning to take these photos, which is why they were warmed against doing so in the first place. Even if no photos were taken, this might be why Greece isn’t buying the story. So we have the depressing spectacle of two generally nice geeky guys being rung up like Mata Hari. They could face up to 40 years in jail if convicted, which, you know, is really going to make for an authentic war experience in future games. I kid, I kid.

Anyway, the latest: They requested bail, and were denied. It took 70 days for this bail request to be denied, btw, because the country is currently riddled by strikes resulting from the European Union’s policy of looting Greece and sticking to Greece’s poor, rather than actually helping the economy rebuild cough, austerity measures, uncough. So they’ll continue to sit in a Greek jail awaiting trial which is coming at a glacial pace because of larger turmoil in the country.

The moral of the story is that you do not tell the Internet about your plans to photograph government installations. Er, I mean, you don’t take those photos. No really, I promise.

Via RPS.

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5 Comments on Bail Denied For ArmA 3 Devs In Greece

Cyprus Rulez

On November 20, 2012 at 3:53 am

Or maybe the message is don’t ever do anything, ever. If the developers are being criticised and trialled for openly stating in advance that they were going to take these pictures, and thus providing prior warning to the government, then what sort of ridiculous policy is this? If they took them in secret, they’d probably be arrested afterwards. They give prior warning, and they still get arrested. For taking photographs, nothing more. Idiocy.


On November 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

Cyprus come on. How is it better to warn the government that you’re going to do something illegal? It’s still illegal.


On November 20, 2012 at 10:00 am

Daniel is right. Announcing that you’re going to do something illegal doesn’t change it in the least. These guys were warned that this was a distinct possibility, and yet they did it anyway. If anything, announcing such a thing makes it worse since others would know if they got away with it, so the government’s hand would basically be forced. Plus, they wouldn’t even be able to ask for leniency because they didn’t know what they were doing. Ignorance of a law rarely works as a mitigating factor, but announcing that you’re going to knowingly break it shuts that avenue off completely.

I fear that Cyrpus Rulez doesn’t understand that taking photographs of a military base is exactly the kind of thing that governments don’t like because anyone doing it, regardless of what they say, could be a spy.

Cyprus Rulez

On November 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

Nope, I understand it completely. I just think it’s ridiculous. These people have been punished for showing transparency. If they’d gone without warning anyone, then got caught, they would have looked even worse. They can’t win. Hence why I said they should have just done nothing.

Furthermore, I don’t see how a forewarning of intent can be seen as legitimate suion that they’re spies. Saying nothing would make them more likely to be seen as spies. That’s what a spy is, someone who spies on things. Tweeting about your plans is therefore the complete opposite of espionage. A pretty easy judgement to make, really.


On November 20, 2012 at 11:47 am

Incorrect. They’ve been punished for photographing a military installation, not for being transparent. The action is the focus, not the intent. Example: It doesn’t matter how you get drunk, or why you decided to drive. Driving while intoxicated is illegal. Some law requires intent to be considered as an element (murder vs. manslaughter, for instance). This is not one of those situations.
Secondly, I’m not sure of the Greek military police procedures, but in the U.S. your camera and photographs will be taken as evidence in any arrest for photgraphing a national security installation. Makes the legal proceedings nice and tidy. If these two geniuses did actually photograph the base, the Greeks should have confiscated their gear. If so, they can clear up the whole ‘did they or didn’t they’ controversey quite easily, and should do so as soon as possible.
And lastly, you’ve been watching too many spy movies. The majority of espionage is not done from the shadows, all cloak and dagger james bond-ish. Unlike what Splinter Cell may have led you to believe about the competence of guards, actaully trying cloak and dagger shenanigans at a national security installation IRL will get you promptly arrested or promptly dead, depending on the installation. In actuality, the majority of espionage is done in plain sight. Actual spies are mostly people with an impeccable cover that allows them access to an installation as part of their normal expected duties, like posing as a journalist or a doctor.