The two Bohemia Interactive employees arrested last year for allegedly spying on a military installation in Lemnos, Greece are now released on bail, as reported by HelpIvanMartin.org, the website that has petitioned for their release since their initial arrest.
Arma 3 developers Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar were released on a bail sum set at 5,000 euros each, according to online magazine Novinky.cz. After funds are deposited, the two men — who faced a conviction of up to 20 years in prison — will be free to leave Greece.
"As a result of repeated dealings, today the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras informed Czech PM Petr Nečas over the telephone that the two Czech arrested by Greek police because of supposed photography of military objects on the island of Lemnos have been released," reads a statement on Novinky, as translated by the HelpIvanMartin organization. "Both can now return back to the Czech Republic. PM Petr Nečas expressed appreciation for the efforts of PM Antonis Samaras and thanked him."
Speaking to Polygon, creator of Arma 2 mod DayZ Dean Hall stated he was "thrilled and shocked" when he first heard the news, adding "it's still hard to put into words."
"It's been a real roller-coaster ride for everyone," said Hall, "and has been a massive weight psychologically on the team the whole time. Just knowing they are going to be back with their family and friends is a massive relief. And the professional side, Ivan was the guy who was the driving force behind the original Chernarus map — once of the key aspects that needed to be there for the success DayZ experienced. He and Martin were the guys re-designing Chernarus for DayZ standalone. Ivan had been passionately writing letters with ideas, despite being locked up for half a year.
"Without Ivan, DayZ never would have come out; he was the guy that pushed for me to be brought over from New Zealand to work on Arma 3 which is where I learned some of the engine interior I needed to make DayZ a success, he was the guy who was at the airport to meet me when I arrived — always smiling always cheerful, he was the guy who came to pick me up at the airport when the 'weight' of the success of DayZ had hit me while I was at E3. So not having him around, and knowing that he was in prison has really left a big hole that has been impossible to fill emotionally. If you haven't met Ivan before, you really can't meet a more positive, strong and wonderful person to work with. Martin is also a really wonderful guy to work with, it's going to be very emotional for everyone when they are home."
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Ivan and Martin have been bailed after 128 days! <a href="http://t.co/YcMAuM40" title="http://www.helpivanmartin.org/2013/01/ivan-martin-free-on-bail/">helpivanmartin.org/2013/01/ivan-m…</a> This is the greatest news I could ever receive! Can't wait to see them</p>— Dean Hall (@rocket2guns) <a href="https://twitter.com/rocket2guns/status/291175370768674816" data-datetime="2013-01-15T13:29:52+00:00">January 15, 2013</a></blockquote>
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This follows numerous calls for their release since their arrest. Bohemia Interactive has actively denied allegations their employees illegally obtained photos of the military installation, while Czech President Václav Klaus also sent a letter to Greek President Karolos Papoulias requesting their release.
Buchta and Pezlar remained in prison for 128 days following their arrest in September 2012.
Polygon has reached out to Bohemia Interactive for comment and will update the story when further information is available.