Page last updated at 20:43 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 21:43 UK

Student in Greek jail 'depressed'

The prison where Mr symeou is being held
A Greek court refused him bail as he does not have a permanent address

A north London student on remand in a Greek prison on a manslaughter charge has said he is "depressed every day".

Andrew Symeou, 20, is charged with the manslaughter of Jonathan Hiles, 18, of Cardiff, who died on the isle of Zante in 2007, allegedly after being punched.

Mr Symeou, of Enfield, has been denied bail since his extradition last month.

He said his incarceration was a "huge injustice" and that the "courts don't understand how difficult it is being in a foreign prison".

'Huge injustice'

Mr Symeou was extradited to Greece last month after losing a High Court fight against extradition.

A Greek court refused him bail as he has no permanent address in Greece, campaign group Fair Trials International said.

He is being held at a detention centre for young people north of Athens.

Helen Symeou
Helen Symeou hopes her son will be allowed to live with a relative in Athens

The student's parents hope he will be granted bail and allowed to live in a relative's apartment in the Greek capital Athens.

Helen Symeou, who took notes of her conversation with her son in prison, said: "He said 'This is a huge injustice. I find myself depressed every day.

"I am finding it difficult to accept the reality. I really want to clear my name but why do I have to held in this captivity?

"He said: 'The courts don't understand how difficult it is being in a foreign prison where you don't understand anything'," Mrs Symeou said.

Father Frank, who was also there, said: "Obviously for his mental wellbeing and his physical wellbeing it is crucial that he gets about."

Fair Trials International has said it will do everything in its power to ensure that the student does not spend months in jail before the case comes to court.

Mr Hiles, who was in Britain's roller-hockey team, died in July 2007 two days after falling off a dance podium in a nightclub.

Mr Symeou, a Bournemouth University student, maintains that he was not present in the club at the time.

Family battle for son's release



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