By Anthony Stavrinos
Justice, like almost everything else, moves slowly in the Greek isles.
Family and friends of Doujon Zammit (foto) have been waiting 16 months for a court date to be set over his bashing death on Mykonos.
That finally happened yesterday.
Greek court officials announced that 26-year-old bouncer Marios Antonopoulos would face trial on January 13 on nearby island Lesbos.
Under Greek law, a prisoner cannot remain in custody for more than 18 months without facing trial.
Any further delays could result in Mr Antonopoulos walking free from prison.
“It’s a relief to finally have a trial date but it’s just as important that the proceedings commence on schedule,” Doujon’s mother Rosemarie Zammit said yesterday.
His father Oliver Zammit said the accused had the rights of appeal and avenues available to delay proceedings.
“But Doujon doesn’t have any of these rights … he’s not here to speak up for himself,” he said.
“Everything seems to revolve around those that are charged and in jail and not the victim’s family and friends.”
The Zammits commented only days after Greece’s top judicial body, the Supreme Court, rejected Mr Antonopoulos’s second appeal over pre-trial procedures.
Mr Antonopoulos is facing several charges over Doujon’s death, including murder with intent, possession of a lethal weapon and attempted murder. Police claim Doujon and his cousin, Cameron, also 20, were attacked by at least four bouncers – who allegedly impersonated police officers – after leaving the beachfront Tropicana Bar and refusing demands to hand over their passports.
Mr Antonopoulos is accused of using a fold-out baton in the attack, inflicting severe head injuries that resulted in Doujon’s death.
Police claim they later found the weapon wrapped in a blood-soaked T-shirt under Mr Antonopoulos’s Mykonos home.
Two alleged accomplices are also facing attempted murder charges, while details of charges being faced by at least one other accomplice were not immediately available.
Head of Greece’s press and communications office in Australia, Nicolas Economidis, said Greek justice was “fully aware of the seriousness of the case and has undertaken all the legal measures to ensure there will not be any miscarriage in this matter”.
“Greek justice is also fully aware of the deadlines and will ensure that the charged person will be brought to a trial,” he said.
The Zammits have appointed high-profile Sydney lawyer Nick Pappas to liaise between the family and Greek authorities. He has waived his fees, citing the tragic circumstances and the considerable legal fees the Zammits have paid out so far.
“While the case has received considerable media attention in Greece, there has been a perceived slackness on the part of the prosecuting authorities,” Mr Pappas said.
He said due to steps undertaken by the Zammits, there has been more urgency shown by Greek authorities, including expediting a decision rejecting Mr Antonopoulos’s latest appeal and quickly setting the trial date.
“The Greek authorities now understand the importance of not only justice being done, but being seen to be done,” he said.
(source: Syndey Morning Herald)