The 21-year-old Greek man and 19-year-old Albanian man accused of the horrific murder and rape of 21-year-old student Eleni Topaloudi on Rhodes island appeared before an examining magistrate to testify on Friday.
The public prosecutor has charged the two suspects with first-degree murder and rape of the victim, in a crime that has shocked the entire country and the local community on Rhodes.
One of the accused a 19-year-old Albanian, has admitted his involvement in the crime in a testimony to the Rhodes coast guard, the law enforcement agency that launched the investigation after the girl’s body was found at sea. In his testimony, he implicated the second suspect, a 21-year-old local man, who has denied his involvement in the crime and blamed the Albanian man.
Based on the evidence uncovered, the two suspects allegedly lured the young student to a holiday house belonging to the family of the 21-year-old and, when she refused their sexual advances, proceeded to hit her savagely, inflicting serious injuries. They are then accused of transporting Eleni, while semi-conscious but still alive to a remote rocky beach and throwing her into the sea, leaving her to drown.
The Albanian man showed coast guard officers the location where they afterwards threw away the victim’s clothes and other belongings, along with an electric iron with which they hit the girl in the face.
The revelations of how Eleni was murdered has sparked anger amongst Greeks nationwide.
The young student reportedly made desperate attempts to escape from the hands of her rapists and murderers in the last tormenting moments before she was thrown into the sea. The details of what went on even had the interrogator in tears as he could not believe the cruelty of their actions.
The two defendants described in detail what happened in the holiday house and the last moments of the victim’s life, with officers shocked by the calmness of the 19-year-old Albanian, as he described the way the two men tortured Eleni.
“It was as if he was saying a simple story,” said a senior officer.
According to reports, Eleni had arranged to meet up with the 19-year-old Albanian at her home who told her they would go for a drive. As shown in video footage outside Eleni’s apartment, the young man goes to the student’s home and invites her to come downstairs.
Entering the car, she also meets the 21-year-old local from Rhodes who tells her that they will all go to his holiday house close by.
The two young men are then reported to have made sexual advances and when she refused they turned violent.
The Albanian said they hit and punched her, adding that it was the Greek man that hit her over the head with an electric iron. The 21-year-fell to the floor and after torturing the student, they placed her naked into the car and drove her to a beach, where they raped her and then tied her legs together before throwing her into the ocean to drown.
The Albanian man said Eleni was still alive before they threw her into the water and she desperately pleaded with them to take her to the hospital and not to let her die, with her last words being “My Dad will come after you both.”
The parents of Eleni, who was an only child, laid their daughter to rest last week near the town of Alexandroupolis and are being comforted by family and friends who are all in a state of shock.