On September 11, 2012 two citizens of the Czech Republic were arrested in Greece on espionage charges after they were found photographing military installations on the island of Lemnos. These citizens are Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, video game developers from Bohemia Interactive, and the pictures they had been taking were to be used as reference for the studio’s upcoming title ARMA III. Despite several attempts by both Bohemia and the Czech government to clear up the misunderstanding, things weren’t looking good for the duo. Their persistent optimism in letters to family and friends regressed into depressive pleas for assistance and concern for the conditions of their confinement. If convicted, Buchta and Pezlar faced up to twenty years in prison.
Dean “Rocket” Hall, a name now recognized throughout the industry as responsible for the multiplayer survival horror mod DayZ and its upcoming standalone counterpart, posted to his Twitter account this morning that Buchta and Pezlar have been released on bail. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras contacted Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas via telephone to inform him that the two men would be released and allowed to return to the Czech Republic. The cost of their bail sum was set at 5,000 Euros each.
Buchta and Pezlar spent 128 days in prison, during this time they were absent from their families and were unable to provide for their children. Both men assisted in the development of DayZ, and Hall has stated numerous times that their imprisonment partially the cause of the standalone version’s increased development time.
We wish Ivan and Martin well, and we hope that they are able to take a few days to make up for lost time with their families. It’s wonderful to hear that this story finally has an ending.