February 2, 2009 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A court in Greece has convicted and sentenced a Turkish fighter pilot in absentia to four years in prison over a fatal jet crash over the Aegean Sea in 2006.
First Lt. Halil Ibrahim Özdemir was convicted Monday of negligent manslaughter. He has 15 days to appeal the sentence or face arrest if he enters Greece
. The offense is not considered serious enough to warrant an extradition request. Özdemir did not appoint a lawyer and there was no immediate reaction from Turkish authorities.
Greek pilot Costas Iliakis died in the 2006 incident when two F-16 jets collided.
allies Greece and Turkey
are at odds over airspace boundaries and flight procedures in the Aegean and mock dogfights between fighter jets are common.