Bohemia Interactive, the developers behind ArmA 2 and 3 and employers of the two developers arrested on alleged espionage charges, have released a new official statement on the situation in Greece. This statement names the two developers as Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, and reaffirms the company’s position that the two were visiting as tourists when they were arrested. Also in this statement is a message from the two arrested developers, explaining that the situation is a misunderstanding, that they are being treated correctly, and that they wish to see their families soon.

Bohemia concludes the statement by welcoming any support that can be given.

You can read the full statement below.

Since last Sunday, when two Bohemia Interactive, a.s. employees, were arrested on the Greek island of Lemnos, much speculation about what happened has circulated online. It’s been rumoured that they entered restricted military areas or gathered photographic references of military bases in order to improve the visual fidelity of Arma 3, a PC game currently under development by our company. Far in advance of any formal charges – only hours after they were detained by the local police – many media outlets immediately suggested spying and, only one day later, specifically referenced Arma 3.

Having travelled there, and after meeting personally with them both, as well as their lawyer who is fully acquainted with the Greek authority’s investigation file in detail, we can assure you that these insinuations are completely false and without substance. These employees – our friends, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar – visited the island as tourists. Their holiday was a product of their interest in the island, triggered by their work on Arma 3 over the past two years of development.

They took photographs and videos in public areas, as countless tourists arriving to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Greece may well do. These included a short video as they drove through the main road passing around the international airport, where in one short part of the video off in the distance some hangars and other buildings of the complex can be seen. It’s very likely that many tourists may have pictures similar to those taken by Ivan and Martin in their own family albums, without being aware that they put themselves or their families at risk.

We sincerely hope that the whole situation is no more than an unfortunate and deep misunderstanding. The in-game Limnos is close to completion, and it’s far from an identical replication of the real place. It was heavily modified to fit the game’s backstory, a purely fictional 2035 setting. It was rescaled to only 75% of the real island, and it does not attempt to display any real world military installations situated on the island of Lemnos.

To summarize the situation:

·They visited Lemnos on their holiday as tourists.
·They did not enter any military area.
·They did not take any pictures of any military objects to be used in Arma 3.

Martin and Ivan, currently being detained in Mytilene, relayed this message to their friends and family:

“The conditions are tough, but the people we meet treat us fairly and correctly. It is all a completely absurd misunderstanding that will certainly be quickly explained. We mainly think of you, our families; you have to stay calm and not to worry about us. We hope we will meet soon.”

We apologize for any possible delay or lack of communication regarding this important matter. At present, all and every possible effort goes towards supporting Ivan and Martin, their families, and to getting the guys safely back home. Any form of support for our imprisoned colleagues and friends will be more than welcome.

We here at OnlySP wish the developers a speedy resolution of the situation. As always, stay tuned for more details.

Lachlan Williams
Former Editor in Chief of OnlySP. A guy who writes things about stuff, apparently. Recovering linguist, blue pencil surgeon, and professional bishie sparkler. In between finding the latest news, reviewing PC games, and generally being a grumpy bossyboots, he likes to watch way too much Judge Judy. He perhaps has too much spare time on his hands. Based in Sydney, Australia. Follow him on twitter @lawksland.

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4 Comments

  1. I was actually interviewed by a local newspaper of Lemnos on this (it&#039s my mother&#039s home island and I&#039ve lived there for about 7 years) and people were skeptical from the get go. I understand older people, but even the governor?

    Greece is at an all time low and a game set on a realistic version of the island would, for the first time, reach thousands of players. Players which could very well become our tourists. Also, out of the many islands we have, Lemnos is not really a huge tourist attraction. So, it could use the help.

    I understand their concerns. Turkey is so close you can see its shores and the airfield and military bases are among the biggest and most important in Greece and even the Balkans, but still. A video of a bunch of hangars from the main road? I&#039ve been up and down that road hundreds of times. It&#039s not any tourist&#039s fault if the hangars are on plain site, next to the road and on a large field without trees. Anyone pointing any camera towards that side of the road would capture them. So yes, now that I read what the "footage" was, it&#039s even more ridiculous they got arrested like this.

    Hope they get released soon and that the local morons finally allow the game to be made.

  2. I was actually interviewed by a local newspaper of Lemnos on this (it's my mother's home island and I've lived there for about 7 years) and people were skeptical from the get go. I understand older people, but even the governor?

    Greece is at an all time low and a game set on a realistic version of the island would, for the first time, reach thousands of players. Players which could very well become our tourists. Also, out of the many islands we have, Lemnos is not really a huge tourist attraction. So, it could use the help.

    I understand their concerns. Turkey is so close you can see its shores and the airfield and military bases are among the biggest and most important in Greece and even the Balkans, but still. A video of a bunch of hangars from the main road? I've been up and down that road hundreds of times. It's not any tourist's fault if the hangars are on plain site, next to the road and on a large field without trees. Anyone pointing any camera towards that side of the road would capture them. So yes, now that I read what the "footage" was, it's even more ridiculous they got arrested like this.

    Hope they get released soon and that the local morons finally allow the game to be made.

  3. This is my second post.
    i agree totally with orionsramblings it&#039s ridicolous.
    i have readed that this was happened jet in the past some years ago with a small group of english tourists.this put in evidence the out of head behavieur of the limnos police and in general of Greek politicians that dont do nothing for to hide the structures of the base and instead seems that encourage the tourists to take pictures of it for then create troubles for nothing …really nothing.in the situation of the country of today is not intelligent to create problems with other UE countries.Czech for first is so far by Greek that thinking that that country can may have some interest in taking some far pictures of a base there is not part of a real talking.

  4. This is my second post.
    i agree totally with orionsramblings it's ridicolous.
    i have readed that this was happened jet in the past some years ago with a small group of english tourists.this put in evidence the out of head behavieur of the limnos police and in general of Greek politicians that dont do nothing for to hide the structures of the base and instead seems that encourage the tourists to take pictures of it for then create troubles for nothing …really nothing.in the situation of the country of today is not intelligent to create problems with other UE countries.Czech for first is so far by Greek that thinking that that country can may have some interest in taking some far pictures of a base there is not part of a real talking.

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