Marios Michaelides, the Greek national charged with the 1975 murder of the daughter of David K.E. Bruce, the late diplomat, has offered to return to Virginia to stand trial, Michaelides' Charlottesville lawyer said yesterday.
But John C. Lowe, the lawyer, said Michaelides will return only on the conditions that polygraph tests be given both to himself and certain Bruce family members who have made statements about him and that the trial not be held in Charlotte County where Michaelides alleges that the Bruce family has too much influence.
Michaelides was indicted Sept. 8 by a grand jury in the Southside Virginia country for murder in the November 1975 death of Alexandra Bruce, whom he had married three months earlier. Until then, Virginia authorities had said that Alexandra Bruce committed suicide on the grounds of the Bruce family's huge estate near Brookneal.
Meanwhile, Charlotte County Commonwealth's Attorney Edwin B. Baker's offie confirmed that Michaelides, currently in Athens, was indicted this week on a fourth charge involving the alleged theft of thousands of dollars worth of antiques, paintings and silver confiscated in Birmingham by Alabama and Virginia authorities. Michaelides also is charged with bigamy and embezzlement in Virginia.
The seized goods belong to the Bruce family, according to an affidavit filed with the search warrants used in the raids. Many of the goods had been packed for shipment to Greece where Michaelides now lives with his first wife.
Baker declined comment last night on Michaelides' offer to return to Virginia. Michaelides has said previously that he would remain in Greece, seeking a trial there under Greek law on the Virginia charges.
Michaelides went to Greece in April and has not returned. Under a treaty between Greece and the United States, he cannot be extradited because he is a Greek citizen. Greek law provides that he can be tried on the American charges in Greece.
A Greek magistrate has opened an inquiry into the case but the indictments and related material have not been forwarded from the United States, according to a Virginia official.
Lowe said Michaelides would first deal with any charges brought in Greece before returning to Virginia. But he added that Michaelides would return - under the conditions of polygraph use and change of venue - and face charges here if Baker agreed not to seek a trial in Greece.
"Mr. Michaelides vehemently asserts that he is innocent, in fact, of any wrongdoing whatsoever," Lowe said.
Alexandra Bruce was found Nov. 7, 1975, with a gunshot wound in her head at Staunton Hill, the family estate near Brookneal. She died 36 hours later in Lynchburg General Hospital without regaining consciousness.
Her death was ruled a suicide several days later but the case was reopened this year when Downey Rice, a Washington lawyer for the Bruce family, presented Baker with evidence gathered during a private investigation.
In several cases, Virginia circuit courts have previously ruled the results of polygraph tests admissible in court provided that they are agreed to in advance by both the Commonwealth and the defendant, provided that the test results are conclusive.
Both Michaelides and his first wife, Mary, an American he married in 1972, declined comment when reached by telephone in Athens.