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Martin Pezlar: "Now I finally believe we are free"

Bailed ArmA devs arrive home to emotional scenes.

Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta - the two Bohemia Interactive employees jailed on espionage charges in Greece but now bailed - have returned home.

They were welcomed back to the Czech Republic by emotional loved ones and a throng of press (this case involved even the Czech president).

"Now I finally believe we are free," Martin Pezlar told reporters, comments translated by Jan Doskocil from Eurogamer Czech. "When we were still in Greece, anything could happen.

"We would like to spend the next days and weeks with our families and relax, because we didn't sleep much after release from jail.

Oh boy I'm welling up.

"I have never experienced worse things in my life than this. The worst thing in prison was psyche, where you have to keep thinking positive. But prison staff were friendly to us - no serious problems there.

"If I ever take some pictures on vacation," he quipped, "for sure [it's] not [going to be] in Greece."

Pezlar's quip refers to the pictures and video the pair supposedly took of a military base. The same military base appears in ArmA 3. The Greek authorities deemed it espionage; the two developers called them holiday snaps.

"It's a great feeling to have freedom again," Ivan Buchta told reporters at his homecoming. "In prison you realise how much you miss the usual things in life like privacy or driving a car.

"We would like to thank to community for their big support which helped us a lot, fuelling us with energy and sending us postcards via HelpIvanMartin.org.

"At the end we were quite pessimistic and tried to avoid false hopes, because with only having this in mind you are able to overcome all troubles. We were surprised to see the second custody appeal was successful - we didn't expect that.

"As for the future," he closed, "we will respect the trust which was given to us and we definitely don't want to intercept [or] block passing of the justice."

A compilation of reports from the Czech Republic have been rounded up by Eurogamer Czech.

It's important to point out that Buchta and Pezlar are required to personally return for future court proceedings in their case to Greece. They can't send a lawyer to do it for them.

These court proceedings must happen by March 2014, Eurogamer Czech's Jan Doskocil told us.

Buchta and Pezlar refused to reply to questions on whether they will risk going back there again. Their lawyer didn't have any new details on the case to share.

Another person particularly thrilled by their return to the Czech Republic is DayZ creator Dean Hall. He told Eurogamer earlier this week that "without Ivan, DayZ would never have come out".

"We're all just absolutely thrilled," he said. "It is a huge relief. It's hard to put into words, really."

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Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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