Page last updated at 18:17 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Cyprus extradition appeal fails

Luke Atkinson told BBC Essex he feels "gutted, annoyed and let down"

Two men from Essex have failed in their appeal to the Supreme Court against extradition to Cyprus where they face jail for manslaughter.

Cousins Michael Binnington, 23, and Luke Atkinson, 24, of Witham, were passengers in a car which hit a moped, killing a 17-year-old boy in 2006.

The UK Supreme Court turned down the final appeal against the pair's extradition on Tuesday.

They will be sent to Cyprus within two weeks to face three-year jail terms.

The car was being driven by Atkinson's uncle, Julian Harrington, in Protaras, when it hit the moped, killing pillion passenger Christos Papiris.

Harrington, also from Witham, is serving a 15-year jail sentence after admitting manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm.

'Retribution not justice'

Atkinson and Binnington were sentenced in their absence by the Supreme Court of Cyprus in 2008.

The pair were initially acquitted by a Cypriot court in February 2007, but that verdict was overturned by the higher court in January 2008.

In June they lost their High Court fight against the extradition.

Labour MEP for Essex Richard Howitt said: "European law should protect the rights of defendants as much as victims.

"I have no doubt Michael and Luke are today the victims of a miscarriage of justice that should never be allowed to happen under European law.

"Common sense tells us back seat passengers cannot be responsible for an accident.

"This is a case which has delivered retribution not justice."

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