Page last updated at 18:54 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Student can stand trial in Greece

Jonathon Hiles
Jonathon Hiles represented the Great Britain roller hockey team

A student accused of killing a roller hockey player while on holiday can be extradited to stand trial in Greece, Westminster Magistrates' Court ruled.

The Greek authorities allege Andrew Symeou, 19, of Enfield, north London, pushed Jonathon Hiles, 18, of Llandaff North, Cardiff, off a nightclub stage.

Mr Hiles died from his injuries in July 2007 while on holiday in Zakynthos.

Mr Symeou denies the manslaughter allegation made against him. His family said they would appeal the ruling.

European warrant

The Bournemouth University student said he did not know about Mr Hiles's death until his return to the UK on 24 July.

He was arrested on 26 July at his home, after a European warrant was issued by Greek authorities.

Mr Hiles, who represented the Great Britain roller hockey team and also played ice hockey for Cardiff Devils' junior team, was with friends in the club on 20 July when he was injured.

Mr Symeou's lawyer, John Jones, argued the Greek courts had no right to issue the warrant for his client's arrest without a previous summons being issued.

Andrew Symeou
Andrew Symeou denies the manslaughter allegation

Peter Caldwell, for the Greek Judicial Authority, said the magistrates' court had no jurisdiction over the Greek court's decision and that the warrant would remain valid.

Mr Symeou was on an 18-30 holiday with friends Charles Klitou and Chris Kyriacou when Mr Hiles died.

Mr Klitou and Mr Kyriacou had previously told the court they had been physically assaulted by Greek police during interview.

But on Thursday District Judge Quentin Purdy said he found the two men "far from entirely satisfactory witnesses".

The judge said: "Given the ordeal they recount, violence at the hands of police in a foreign land, the oral testimony in each individual's case was surprisingly uninspiring".

Outside court Mr Symeou's father Frank said his son felt "angry and terrified" following the ruling.

He added: "We have conclusive evidence that proves Andrew's innocence.

"However under the European arrest warrant the requesting state does not have to provide any evidence to a British court nor is a British court concerned whether there is a case to answer."

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