My boys are gentlemen: Mum of Macris’ accused killers speaks out
Exclusive: The mother of two men accused of murdering former Sydney underworld figure John Macris in cold blood says they are "very good gentlemen".
And she claimed that she knew they were innocent because "their eyes tell everything".
Yuliyanov J Raychev Serafim and Milen Raychev are due to hear the verdict of an Athens court tonight Australian time over the 2018 killing in Greece.
The Bulgarian brothers, who deny the charges, were accused of following Macris for 19 days before he was executed outside his home in Voula when he was in his car, which was caught on CCTV.
Police claimed to have found clothes matching those in the footage in Serafim's hotel room, along with a receipt, and he had rented a car in his own name.
He had fled Greece the day after the October 31, 2018, murder but had returned in April 2019 where he was arrested with police suspecting he was planning another hit.
But their mother, who asked for her name not to be published, told News Corp Australia that her boys were "gentlemen" and offered her sympathy to Macris' widow Viktoria Karida, a former Playboy model.
"I'm very sorry about the lady, I'm sorry for her loss, but my kids is not that kind of persons," she said in English.
"My kids is very good gentlemen. I don't believe that they do that kind of thing to kill someone.
"And they have all families and kids. They never can do that kind of things, they have respect for the people."
The hit has been linked by authorities to a Canadian branch of the notorious Outlaws motorcycle gang.
Serafim has a tattoo of the club's insignia on his left arm, according to photographs taken at his arrest.
Macris, 46, had left Sydney in 2013 and set up a new life in Athens where he ran a security business that had gained lucrative government contracts.
Serafim, who is in his 30s, had links to Australian crime figures in Canada and two brothers, who had different names but similar descriptions, were charged with kidnapping, robbery and extortion there in 2011.
Their mother, who lives in Canada, said she had been staying in Bulgaria to help look after her grandchildren.
"You know like I don't know what I can say more than that I believe my kids, I am the mother I have the feeling you know like when I look at my kids I know they are telling the truth," she said.
"Their eyes tell everything.
"My grandchildren, the older one, she's in Canada but the small ones are in Bulgaria
"That's all I can say now, I just, that's all I can say."
She then asked if Macris had children with Ms Karida.
"I just wanted to say again I'm very sorry for the lady, did she have kids too?" she said.
Macris had two children with Ms Karida, Alexandra and Achilles, who found out how their father died by watching the execution clip on YouTube after hearing their friends talk at school.
Serafim, who has a two-year old son and a Bulgarian wife, said at a court hearing in July: "I am nothing (but) innocent I have nothing to do with Macris' murder. I believe in the Greek justice."
Raychev, who has a 14-year-old son, said: "I am innocent, I have nothing to do with the murder."
A Greek court heard that a Nissan Pulsar that the brothers had rented was seen on CCTV footage passing Macris' house six times on the days before the shooting.
They were also spotted in the same cafe where Macris had been eating.
Macris had been carrying a knife when he was shot, but a gun was found inside his home, which had a double garage and sophisticated security but he instead parked in the street.
The court heard the brothers had cleaned the rental car before it was returned on November 1, 2018.
The Bulgarians' high-profile Greek lawyer Alexandros Lykourezos had argued that professional hit men would not use their own names to rent a car to be used in a killing.
He also questioned whether Macris was sending money back to Australia in the lead up to his death.
The case is expected to begin at 8pm AEST today and run for several hours.
Originally published as My boys are gentlemen: Mum of Macris' accused killers speaks out