20. The trial – Thursday 18th Jan ’12

Hey all

Here we go! The Trial was to begin on Thursday the 18th January 2012. The day all this was going to finally start, and thus the nightmare end. My parents had flown into Heraklion earlier in the week, while my sister arrived late on Wednesday. That morning I woke up in the hotel room my parents had booked in the centre of Heraklion full of anticipation, dread, excitement, every emotion you could imagine. I tried to contain it however inevitably it surfaced as frustration directed towards my family, over stupid things like what clothes to wear etc. My little sister was there all the time holding my hand reminding me to try to be rational and calm. Breakfast that morning was an optimistic idea as the smell of food made my stomach do somersaults. We left the hotel and arrived at the court house shortly before 9am. We were met by Mark’s lawyer who informed us Mark had already arrived and was being detained in the cells below the courthouse, or THE DUNGEONS as they became known as throughout the day, as the entrance to them consisted of a large arch with a big metal gate. It lead into a long concrete corridor and then down into the cells. Shortly after we arrived all of Mark’s family arrived, his brothers, sisters, their partners, cousins, neighbours, friends etc. We all gathered in the entrance of the courthouse waiting for some news. Mark’s lawyer disappeared leaving us all to wait. We waited, and waited and waited. No news, no information for hours. At about 3.30 there was lots of commotion among the crowds of people who had been waiting since 9am, actually who had been waiting since the 16th September 2010 and the word “Δευτέρα or theftera” meaning Monday spread like Chinese whispers through the throngs of people. Myself, my parent’s and my sister sat patiently on the rickety old wooden woven chairs as we waited for Mark’s lawyer to come back. When he did he explained that it was too late to start the proceedings today and due to scheduling issues for the other lawyers, Friday was not an option so the trial would begin on Monday morning at 9am. I burst into tears much to the lawyers lack of understanding! He tried to reassure me this was not a big issue, not a serious problem. However I was furious. It meant extra expense on my parents for the hotel they had booked, the lawyers travel expenses, maybe my sister would not be able to stay for the entire trial and all because the lawyers could not have informed the courts of their prior engagements. But most of all I was devastated because the amount of energy mustered for Mark and Andreas, me, my parents, Mark’s family in order to prepare ourselves for this day was now wasted, and we had to sit around and wait for 3 whole days and do nothing except mither over the coming weeks events. Then my devastation turned into blind panic, “was Mark going to be left in the Dungeon for the entire weekend with no food, no water etc”… Mark’s lawyer went down to see Mark to explain what was happening and he reassured me the boys would be transferred back to Alikarknossos for the weekend. So I proceeded to wait outside the gates of the “DUNGEON” until Mark and Andreas were bundled back into the police van and sent back to prison for the weekend.

After discussing the upcoming events with the lawyer for a short time again we dropped him to the Airport to return to Athens. My parents, my sister and I then made our way back to the hotel were I passed out with exhaustion. I actually for the life of me now can’t remember the rest of that evening, only that I was totally despondent and wished I could sleep for three days straight.

Until next time.