After more than four months behind bars, Bohemia Interactive (ArmA 3, DayZ) staffers Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar were granted bail. The video game developers were arrested at the end of last summer while vacationing on the island of Lemnos in Greece. The Greek government accused the Czech nationals of espionage and imprisoned them. Why the Greek government would accuse game makers of espionage is rooted in Bohemia’s upcoming military simulator ArmA 3. The sequel actually features the island of Lemnos as a setting. The Greek government objected to its inclusion during the game’s production.
“We received this information from the attorney of the two arrested, who informed us that they will be released as soon as they pay the bail,” Czech ambassador to Greece Milos Kucera told Ceska Televize, “We have an unconfirmed report that both families have the money available and are discussing transferring the money to Greece with their attorney.”
Bail was reportedly set at 5,000 euro, or around $6,648.
Buchta and Pezlar were denied bail in November and told that they were to remain in prison until their trial. The conditions they stayed in were reportedly abysmal. “They’re in a cell with over 25 people, they sleep on the ground,” said Miloslav Buchta, Ivan’s father.
The two developers will still have to face trial, though it’s unclear when since Greece’s judges are on strike.
According to Bohemia Interactive’s Ota Vrtatko, the two did nothing out of the ordinary for tourists.
“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 with substance,” said Vrtatko in September, “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. The in-game Lemnos is close to completion, and it’s far from an identical replication of the real place.”