A Greek helicopter pilot suspected of murdering his British wife after claiming she was killed during a robbery at their home has appeared in an Athens court to give evidence.
Babis Anagnostopoulos arrived at court flanked by armed police on Tuesday morning to testify on what happened on 11 May in Glyka Nera, in northeastern Athens, Greece.
The 33-year-old was arraigned for the killing of Caroline Crouch, 20 – who died of suffocation – after reportedly confessing to the crime to Greek police.
The pilot initially tried to create a convincing crime scene by placing their baby next to her dead mother, according to police.
He is also accused of choking the family dog to death with its lead in his bid to fool investigators.
Anagnostopoulos, who wore a white bulletproof vest to court today, is expected to issue an apology in the next few hours.
Two lawyers representing Ms Crouch’s family have spoken out in support of the case.
They said: “We have filed a civil lawsuit representing Caroline’s family. For obvious reasons her mother could not come, in the situation she is in, and the statement was made with authorisation.
“You understand the position of the mother who hugged the hands that took her daughter’s breath away. There should be consultation with the perpetrator’s family.”
The lawyers added that Ms Crouch’s family has a “good relationship” with the accused’s family and are in consultation with them.
Ms Crouch’s mother is in a good financial situation, her lawyers said, and she has vowed to take after the couple’s daughter on the Greek island of Alonissos.
Anagnostopoulos is charged with two felonies; intentional homicide and killing of an animal, as well as two misdemeanours; repeated false testimony and false report to the authorities.
After attempting to mislead not only the police but the whole nation about the crime for 37 days, he now says through his lawyers that he regrets and apologises for his actions.
Following his confession last week, he was led in handcuffs to his first appearance in court, again wearing a bulletproof vest.
Analysis of data from a smartwatch worn by Ms Crouch had helped reveal inconsistencies in Anagnostopoulos’ original story, police investigators said.
The pilot had publicly claimed he and his wife were gagged and tied up after armed robbers broke into their home as their baby daughter slept.
He also said the men stole cash before escaping.
His story shocked the nation and prompted government officials to announce a 300,000-euro (£257,000) reward for information about the crime.
The couple’s daughter was unharmed, but the family dog was found choked to death on a leash, and “everything was staged for the crime scene to look like the scene of a robbery,” Costas Hassiotis, director of the greater Athens homicide division told reporters last week.
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