After hours of chaos in the courtroom of the Heraklion Courthouse, with lawyers speculating would the proceedings begin on Wednesday or the following day, the 5 member council of Judges announced that they were postponing the appeal and suggested a rescheduled date for October 2014.
The legal representation for all of the defendants argued unsuccessfully to force the process to begin however the date was pushed up to May 7th 2014 – Five months and 3 more days in prison for Mark and Andreas.
Following the shock announcement Mark’s defense team, which now consists of Mark’s Lawyer, Dr. Hampikian, two IIP caseworkers, Ms Anne O’Driscoll, a fullbright scholar from Grifith College and Criminal Investigative Journalist, a local assistant and translator all gathered with Mark’s family, the film crew and MEP Paul Murphy. We all sat for hours discussing how we planned to make Mark’s defense even stronger for May and it is agreed that Greg will enlist the services of another International expert in the field of witness identification. The IIP and Mark’s wife will begin the process of sourcing an independent document specialist to study Mark’s passport.
Task’s were assigned to everyone within the group and we hope this will make for a seal proof defense for Mark, come May 2014.
Mark’s family now must begin the task of fundraising again in order to ensure they can cover the cost incurred for this next stage of our fight to free Mark and Andreas.
5 DAYS TO GO TO THE APPEAL – UPDATE
Final preparations are in place for next weeks appeal to begin on Wednesday 4th of December. The Irish Innocence Project have confirmed that they are sending four members, including project director Mr. David Langwallner, to Heraklion for the proceedings. Meeting them there will be DNA expert Dr, Greg Hampikian.
MEP Paul Murphy has also confirmed that he will be attending the appeal on Wednesday the 4th December 2013. See his blog here: http://www.paulmurphymep.eu/2013/12/justice-for-mark-marku-appeal-case-today/
Mark and Andreas have been transferred to a prison in Heraklion ahead of the hearing. They are doing well but are very anxious.
For more detailed updates over the coming week, Mark’s wife Julie has been and hopes to continue during the proceedings, posting daily blogs in the “Julie’s Story” page of this site.
We all hope that the final update on this page will be that Mark and Andreas are finally back with their families.
It is now “countdown” to the 4th of December, the date we are hopeful it will be the beginning of the end for this nightmare. Over the last few weeks we have been busy fundraising, organizing collections & raffles and we will be busy with this up until the end of next week. We also launch the Facebook campaign – LAST DASH FUNDRAISING APPEAL – Help bring Mark home for Christmas - to encourage others to run their own events for Mark.
We have also been working tirelessly with the producer of the documentary preparing a press release and supporting documents which make the irregularities, inconsistencies and shortcomings of the case against Mark very clear and obvious. The press release will be launched next Monday 11th – which is Marks Birthday – so hopefully we will get the coverage we need to ensure the courts in Crete are aware of the outside interest here in Ireland.
Finally to coincide with this the campaign has written to 75 TD’s, Ministers, MEP’s and Senators requesting they write a letter to the Greek Ambassador raising their concerns about Mark’s Case. In the coming days a public appeal will be launched on the site here in the “Support Us” section informing you how you can support this campaign.
We are hopeful all these final efforts will result in the outcome we all desire – that is Mark and Andreas home with their families for Christmas.
Over the past six months The Irish Innocence Project have become more involved in Mark’s case. After initial conversations with Mark’s legal team in Greece, they arranged for the the trial transcripts and legal reports to be translated from Greek to English. Two case workers from Griffith College and Trinity College have been reviewing the case. The documents were also brought to the attention of the Idaho Innocence Project during the summer of 2013. The director of this Project, DNA & Criminal Justice expert, Dr. Greg Hampikian, is also reviewing Mark’s case and has agreed to travel from the USA to Crete for the appeal in December. He will be called as a witness in Mark’s defense. Mark’s two case workers and the Director of The Irish Innocence Project, will also be attending the appeal and observing the process and outcome.
On the 3rd anniversary of Mark and Andreas arrest, the two men received a gift from the Heraklion courthouse!! They received confirmation that the appeal date has finally been set for the 4th of December 2013.
Authenticating Documentation – September 2013
Initially the Irish Innocence Project became involved with our campaign to act as Mark’s legal representation in Ireland and help with gathering documents in a format that the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs could authenticate. All but one piece of evidence has been authenticated. The one remaining piece of evidence is Mark’s employment history at Mount Wolesely Hotel in Tullow, Co. Carlow. The hotel has provided us with a letter confirming the dates Mark worked at the hotel as well as a tax form. This is extremely important as during this period two armed robberies, which Mark has subsequently been found guilty of, occurred during this time. However the Department of Foreign Affairs cannot authenticate a letter – we need the information in a legal affidavit in order for it to be authenticated. We are hopeful to have this document in the format we need and stamped in time for the appeal.
*We received this document from Mount Wolseley Hotel and had it stamped by the consular section at Hanault House on Wednesday 20th November 2013.
Making a documentary
November 2012 we were approached about making a documentary about what has happened to Mark and our family since September 2010. After careful consideration we agreed to take part in the documentary. Filming began in December 2012 and periodically throughout the past 10 months and two camera crews will be present at Mark’s appeal. It is hoped the documentary will be shown at international film festivals throughout Europe and broadcast on Irish, Greek and Albanian television.
Fair Trials International (Details a little muddled)
Dail Debate about Mark July 2012
Meeting with Kosovar Delegation
I had the fantastic opportunity to meet with three members of the Republic of Kosovo Assembly last Saturday evening. The group had traveled to Baltinglass to discuss issues concerning the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state and form links with Carlow IT. I contact my local TD’s to request the opportunity to meet with them and it was granted.
The meeting was a great success, with Mr. Elmi Recica, promising to present our case to his close contacts in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Albania and insist they take a serious interest in our case. I am hopeful that this, along with the media coverage our March for Justice got in Albania, as well as Prime Minister Berisha’s statement on television that the Albanian Government must take care of its citizens in Greece that there will be some sort of positive action taken before the appeal.
Clonakilty Human Rights Group
Bev Cotton of the Clonakilty Human Rights group has written a second article and plans to circulate it among several boards and forums. The link to the article is
A big thank you to Bev and his wife who are working hard to raise awareness about our case.
Meeting with Sinn Fein
I met with Sean Crowe TD from Sinn Fein last week, who has taken on the information about our case and agreed to join forces with the Socialist party and members of Fianna Fail who are already assisting us on this case. I hope to plan a joint meeting with all offices on my return from Crete after the 13th.
We, accompanied by Mr. Paul Murphy MEP, met the Greek Ambassador today to present a petition of 2341 signatures, a letter of support from 26 Irish political figures and a letter to the Ambassador, the Greek Prime Minister and the Minister for Justice.
The meeting was not a “pleasant” experience with the Ambassador refusing to discuss our concerns. However she did make several quite unbelievable remarks, the most shocking, “The Greek courts are ALWAYS right and ALWAYS follow EU law” Even more outrageous was when we attempted to respond to her comment, she refused to allow us to speak dismissing us because “she was not discussing it”. I felt like I was being chastised by the principal and to say my father and I were insulted and infuriated would be an understatement.
We plan to march to the embassy this Saturday 20th October from The Dail, starting 12 noon (see below for details). Hope to see you there.
Clonakilty Human Right Group support our MARCH FOR JUSTICE
A big thank you to Bev Cotton for creating a blog about our campaign and helping to raise support for our march this Saturday. Read the blog here:
We will be marching from Dail Eireann, Kildare Street to the Department of Foreign Affairs on Stephen’s Green and onto the the Greek Embassy to highlight this gross injustice by the Greek Justice system and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs lack of support or even interest in helping to end our nightmare.
Date: 20th October 2012
Start Time: 12 noon
SOCIALIST PARTY SUPPORT
From the outset of this nightmare Mr. Liam Aylward MEP and Mr. Billy Timmins TD have endeavoured to assist us in any way possible. Since January 2011 many others have joined them to highlight the gross miscarriage of justice carried out by the Cretan Court.
At present we are working alongside MEP Paul Murphy and the Socialist Party. Next Thursday the 18th October 2012 Mr. Murphy and our campaign will meet with the Greek Ambassador to Ireland when we will present the petition of over 2000 signatures as well as a letter of support with 50 signatures of political figures across all parties.
On Saturday the 20th of October 2012 we will hold a MARCH FOR JUSTICE from Dail Eireann to the Greek Embassy to highlight this gross injustice by the Greek Justice system and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs lack of support or even interest in helping to end our nightmare.
We have also met with Independent TD Ms. Maureen O’Sullivan who has attempted to secure an opportunity with for our campaign to meet with the Oireachtas Committee for Foreign Affairs. However this request was refused this week with the committee offering instead to send a letter to the Albanian Embassy in London, asking them to keep them informed of any progress in the case. We will re-submit the request again.
The Irish Innocence Project
Since July 2012, Julie has been in discussion with The Irish Innocence Project, from Griffith College. At present they are undertaking the task of gathering the evidence we already have, however in a format that the Department of Foreign Affairs can authenticate it with an Apostille.
Fair Trials International
Mark and Andreas defence counsel is currently in discussions with Fair Trials International in the hope of gaining extra support, exposure and expertise to aid their case.The following is a letter recently received from Fair Trials International confirming they will support our political campaign.
Click here to read Fair Trials Letter in .pdf. Mark’s Defence Counsel The following is a letter from Mark’s Counsel to Mark’s Father-in-Law shortly after the trial. Click here to read the letter in .pdf.