CULTURE

The relatives honor their dead and wonder why it took so long to break the gang

The relatives of the foreign victims were also at the trial. Heather Saunders, the widow of Brigadier Stephen Saunders, had cast the largest pebble into the still waters surrounding the November 17 group. «I hope that they’re not turned into heroes and that’s what’s sickening when you’re in there. You see them standing and shouting and carrying on as if it’s some sort of show. Well, next week the show will stop and they’ll be behind bars and perhaps then they’ll realize the seriousness of what they’ve done,» she said after last week’s sessions. Tim Welch, the son of Richard Welch, who was November 17’s first victim in 1975, was at the trial with his brother Nicholas and sister Molly. Although the time limit set by the statute of limitations had passed for that murder, one of the accused who had allegedly killed their father had been charged for the totality of the crimes since then. «I’m very glad to see a bunch of life sentences for Yotopoulos, who is the man who killed my father. That’s the best we can do right now. I hope he serves that sentence for the rest of his life and he rots in jail. You know, my father served here when he was a young man. It was his first assignment. He spoke fluent Greek. He learned it at Harvard. He came to Greece and did eight years here in the 1950s. My brother and sister were born in Greece. Nicholas was born here in 1955. Molly was born here in 1958. My father loved Greece. We all loved Greece, but we will not understand the lack of political will and will always feel disappointed by that. We have very strong roots in Greece, which people do not understand. My father was thrilled that the junta had gone when he came back,» he said. «I sympathize with the Greek police because they’ve not had leadership,» Tim added. «And it’s a huge disappointment. But we still love Greece and we will come back.» George and Stephanie, the children of the Greek American Captain George Tsantes, still have unanswered questions. Stephanie Tsantes said that she and her brother were in Greece to honor their father, but that it had upset them to see the defendants laughing in the courtroom. As for the penalty, she had this comment: «I understand that Greece has the statute of limitations, but at least we managed to get some answers after all this time.»