Northern Ireland

Emotions high for families of Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore

Testifying in a foreign court must be intimidating for anyone. But it may be all the more so for a 16-year-old girl who's hearing about her mother's murder.

Shannon Graham was one of three relatives of Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore who gave a statement to the court.

For most of the two-and-a-half-hour hearing, she sat on a bench at the side of the courtroom, along with her half-brother David, Cathy Dinsmore's brother George, and family lawyer Baris Kaska.

Right in the middle of the courtroom was the dock. The man in it, Eyup Cetin, faced four judges.

The first half of the hearing was taken up by their questioning of him. In the Turkish judicial system, the role of the judges seems to resemble that of prosecutors in the UK courts.

The judges also put some questions to Shannon about her relationship with her former boyfriend Recep Cetin.

He was supposed to be in the dock alongside his father today - but he wasn't brought to court because of an administrative error.

Shannon spoke through a translator, denying she and Recep Cetin had been thinking of marriage. That was what some media reports at the time of the murders had claimed.

It was an emotionally draining morning for the Graham and Dinsmore families.

The language barrier, sweltering heat and humidity, and a longer than expected hearing added up to an intense experience.

But afterwards, five of the victims' relatives found the strength to give a news conference.

Several of them had not previously spoken publicly about the killings.

Their faces and voices told of emotional pain which was still raw - and the sheer exhaustion of the last ten months.

Softly-spoken Shannon described her mum as her "shadow" - her best friend.

David Graham, Marion's son, said the whole experience was still surreal.

Cathy Dinsmore's brother George shook his head as he contemplated the violence of the multiple stabbings.

Marion Graham's daughter, Karen, was asked how much she wanted justice - she certainly did, but dwelled on the fact that her mother and Cathy would always be gone.

Robert Dinsmore agreed things were still very difficult - but he hoped they would improve as more questions were answered about the murders.

All the relatives who spoke agreed they were happy with how the case was going.

It had not been clear how long they would have to wait for a verdict and sentence - there were suggestions it could take many months.

But after Wednesday's hearing, the families' lawyer Baris Kaska said he now thought there was a realistic chance the case could be finished by the end of this year.