- Mark Marku and his younger brother Andreas were found guilty and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment in Crete along with three other men, for a series of armed jewellery shop robberies and car thefts during 2010.
- Mark is married to an Irish citizen, has full Irish residency rights and was living in Ireland when most of these crimes took place.
- No credible evidence was ever produced to convict either of the men of any of the robberies. The only evidence brought against Mark and Andreas by the prosecution were witness identifications by the victims for some of the robberies, despite the fact that all the raiders wore balaclavas. CCTV footage clearly shows that identification is impossible. We sent official copies on disc to a forensic laboratory in the UK to attempt body mapping to rule Mark and Andreas out. They stated even with the best scientific equipment, with these CCTV images it was impossible to rule anybody in or out. Despite selective recording of events, court transcripts confirm these witness’s stating that they did not see faces and are making identifications based on body shape and size. Mark and Andreas are both medium build and medium height, like thousands of other young men in Crete. This is not an acceptable identification.
- A positive DNA report,claiming Mark’s DNA was found on a pair of rubber gloves, was leaked a week before trial. The Prosecution claims these rubber gloves were found in a stolen car allegedly used in a robbery on the 5th June 2010. Mark’s defense team raised several concerns about this report:
(1) This DNA report was dated after the Book of Evidence had closed.
(2) Neither Mark nor his lawyer were officially informed of its existence, it was leaked to another lawyer about a week before trial.
(3) A DNA report produced twelve months earlier in December 2010, had no positive results for any of the eight men originally on trial.
(4) There was no forensic retrieval report for these gloves (which is necessary), the stolen car did have a retrieval report, with no record of these gloves or anything else being found in it, and no positive DNA result from the car either.
(5) Mark was in Ireland on the 5th June 2010.
- Numerous amounts of Irish State and legal documentation, affidavits and employment records, flight tickets, passport stamps (including Greek) that placed Mark in Ireland when many of these crimes took place. On the last day of trial, the prosecutor claimed all this evidence was falsified, without having any evidence or having raised any concerns during the three months since the evidence had been lodged with the courts.
- Concerning a robbery that took place on a date in July when Mark was in Crete, he presented an alibi from a well-respected local Greek businessman, whom Mark was having dinner with at the time. The man remembers it well, because the police came into his restaurant on their way back from attending the scene of the robbery to get some food (police station around the corner from restaurant) and told them what had happened. The accuracy of this witness’s statement was called into question by the prosecutor, yet the claims of witness’s being able to identify raiders wearing balaclavas was not.
- Mark and Andreas were not arrested while committing a crime.
- No incriminating forensic evidence was found at the crime scenes.
- No stolen goods found.
- No evidence of financial gains as proceeds of crimes.
- The robberies did not stop after the arrest of the eight men.
Since The Trial
Since the trial we have been campaigning for Marks case to be reviewed. The appeal date has been moved four times but we can now confirm that an appeal date has been set for the 4th of December 2013. (On 4th December 2013, the appeal was deferred until 7th May 2014. It actually started on Monday 12th May. On Thursday 15th May it was paused once again until Friday 6th June. After hearing all witness’s, conclusion of the appeal was delayed once again, and is set to resume on Friday 27th June 2014).
Since February 2012, we have been attempting to have the evidence reissued and strengthened. We can confirm that all documents, except one which we expect to have by next week, has been authenticated by the Consular Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs by means of an Apostille. (All documents were received in time for the appeal).
The Irish Innocence Project, based in Griffith College, have been assisting Mark’s defense team in evidence gathering for nearly 17 months. They have also confirmed that renowned DNA expert, Dr. Greg Hampikian will travel from Idaho in the USA to act as expert witness for Mark. Dr. Hampikian’s statement at the appeal will support his defense in proving the DNA report produced by the prosecution at the trial is not a credible document, that in no way does it prove Mark was involved in the robbery on the 5th of June 2010. (Dr Hampikian testified on Wednesday 14th May 2014).
Mark and Andreas have now spent 45 months in prison for crimes they have not committed.
Letter from Mark’s Lawyer received by Mark’s father-in-law on the 31st of January 2012 giving his opinion on the trial.