Babis Anagnostopoulos issued a hollow apology while talking to reporters after his first hearing at the Evelpidon Court Complex in Athens, Greece. He recently confessed to the murder of his wife, 20-year-old Briton Caroline Crouch.
The 33-year old arrived in court in a bulletproof vest and was accompanied by 20 armed police officers at 9:50 a.m. He arrived at the complex to the chants of "monster," "killer," and "rot in jail" from protesters.
He stepped outside shortly before 8:00 p.m. to the waiting media. When asked if he had anything to say, he responded, "I would like to say a big sorry." His lawyer, Alexandros Papaioannidis, also told reporters that his client regrets what he did.
"I want to convey to you his remorse. You should hear it with your own ears. It was a tragedy, it was a criminal act and that's why he asks to be punished," he said as quoted by the Daily Mail.
Papaioannidis said Anagnostopoulos told the truth during the hearing. He "didn't change anything" from his confession last week, in which he told investigators that he killed his wife by smothering her with a pillow.
"It was a very long testimony. The necessary clarifications were given as to the incident. A lot of questions, a lot of clarifications...There is a lot more evidence and testimonies to be added that will contribute to our allegations," the lawyer told reporters.
The Greek pilot stands trial for homicide over the death of Crouch on May 11. In his testimony, Anagnostopoulos said that the events "all happened in a moment because of the tension that had preceded." He walked up from the ground floor to the attic where Crouch was sleeping to convince her to sleep with their daughter.
"We started a charged conversation and, as I hugged her, I leaned on her body and what happened, happened," he said and he reportedly also asked the court to hear evidence from relatives and friends on the nature of his relationship with Crouch.
Anagnostopoulos relayed what he told investigators last week. He and his wife had a big fight on the night she died and in a fit of fury, he ended her life there and then in front of their 11-month-old daughter Lydia. He then created an elaborate hoax about a robbery that led to her death.
"He (Anagnostopoulos) concluded his testimony to the court with the words: 'I wish I could go back in time, but I can't,'" Papaioannidis told reporters.
But guards at Athens Police Headquarters, where Anagnostopoulos was being held, said he showed no remorse or regret. He woke up "quite cheerful" a day after his confession. He has remained calm and even acts "like the lead in a crime drama." He even talked about joint custody arrangements, where he shared his hope that Lydia will be under the care of both his parents and Crouch's parents while he is in prison. The accused also insisted that he should not be put on a life sentence so he can still be there for his daughter upon his release.