Greece’s highest administrative court on Monday heard a compensation claim against the state for a 23-year-old woman who was left with devastating physical and mental injuries after being brutally assaulted by an undocumented migrant in the summer of 2012.
Myrto Papadomichelaki’s mother, Maria Kotrotsou, who has launched the legal action on her daughter’s behalf, is accusing the state of a causal connection to her daughter’s assault, arguing that it would never have happened if the perpetrator, a Pakistani national who had entered Greece without papers two years earlier, had been apprehended for illegal migration and arrested or deported.
Kotrotsou is asking the Council of State to repeal an earlier decision by the Athens Administrative Appeals Court, which rejected the claim on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to prove the attack was the indirect result of oversights from Greek state bodies.
Papadomichelaki’s family is seeking 200,000 euros for moral damages and a monthly allowance of 2,978 euros payable from June 2017 and until the end of her life to cover medical and other expenses. Her mother and sister are also seeking 50,000 euros each for moral damages.
Speaking to the judges at the Council of State on Monday, the family’s lawyer, Spyros Vlachopoulos, also argued that the perpetrator, who was sentenced in June 2017, had been encouraged to further delinquent behavior by the fact that he had gotten away with living and working in the country illegally for two years.
“I protest because Myrto was attacked without reason and is not being treated by the Greek state as she ought to be. We have been left to our own devices… People like Myrto cannot live for long. My intention is to make sure she lives as well as possible,” Kotrotsou told reporters gathered outside the courthouse in Athens on Monday.
Papadomichelaki was 15 years old when Ahmed Waqas, 23, attacked her while she was strolling along a remote part of a popular beach on the Aegean island of Paros where mother and daughter had been holidaying. He raped her and bashed her head repeatedly with a stone, before hiding what he believed to be her dead body behind a cluster of rocks.
Waqas has confessed to every aspect of the assault and was sentenced to life in prison with an additional 25 years.
Papadomichelaki was in a coma for several months and underwent specialist treatment in the United States, but is still unable to communicate or move.