Montreal woman to testify at Greek rape trial
A Montreal woman travelling to Greece to testify against a man accused of serial rape says she's determined to see justice done despite the long delay.
Natalie Karneef, 32, has waited five years for the sexual assault trial to proceed because Greek authorities have repeatedly postponed the case.
She was vacationing alone in Greece in 2005 when she met a man on the street who offered to give her a tour. After sharing a meal with him she lost consciousness and was sexually assaulted.
Believing she had been drugged, Karneef reported the attack to authorities.
After other women reported similar experiences, authorities arrested Emmanouil Aristovoulos, 52.
Karneef was subpoenaed to testify in Greece in 2008, but that appearance was cancelled because of a strike by court employees.
She says her experience with Greek authorities has been frustrating, because they've lost evidence and haven't been diligent about keeping her informed.
"I'm up against this massive, apathetic, not very well-functioning system that really doesn't seem too interested or concerned about the rights of victims," said Karneef, a freelance journalist in Montreal who has worked for the CBC.
She left on Friday for Greece, where the trial is scheduled to start on Monday.
Karneff says she's concerned it will be postponed again, but is ready to follow through with her case.
"The only way that anything will really change is by me reopening my mouth and stomping and screaming and doing whatever I can," she said. "That's daunting and taxing."
Karneef has worked with a Montreal criminal lawyer who cross-examined her in preparation for her testimony.
Aristovoulos has already served time in prison for sexually assaulting a Danish woman.