Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Friday, 1 May 2009 13:40 UK

Student loses extradition battle

Jonathon Hiles
Jon Hiles died after being punched in a nightclub

A student accused of killing a teenager who died after an incident in a Greek nightclub has lost his High Court battle against extradition.

Andrew Symeou, 20, from Enfield, north London, is accused of manslaughter following the death of Jonathan Hiles.

The 18-year-old from Llandaff North, Cardiff, died after being punched in a nightclub in Zakynthos in 2007.

Mr Symeou denies the charge and is now appealing to the House of Lords. He said he could prove his innocence.

Last year Mr Hiles's father Denzil said he was frustrated by the lack of progress in the case, as the Greek police knew who the suspect was.

'Manufactured evidence'

However Mr Symeou's lawyers insist the case against him rests on "fabricated evidence".

If I had never been born, what happened to Jonathan Hiles would still have happened
Andrew Symeou

The defence had asked the High Court to block his extradition, which was sought by the Greek authorities under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

Mr Symeou said: "If I had never been born, what happened to Jonathan Hiles would still have happened. Our paths never crossed.

"The case against me has been manufactured and manipulated by the Zante police.

"I am innocent and I can prove it, but it seems nobody wants to listen."

An order for the student's extradition was made by District Judge Quentin Purdy in October.

Fair trial

Edward Fitzgerald QC, who appeared for Mr Symeou, claimed the previous order failed to take into account the allegation that witnesses had been pressured into making statements.

He added Mr Symeou had not known of Mr Hiles' death until he returned to England.

However two of his friends had remained on the island and there was evidence they had been beaten while in custody, said Mr Fitzgerald.

But the Greek authorities argue Mr Symeou, a Bournemouth University student, will receive a fair trial in the country and that the Greek courts are the correct place to consider all the allegations being made.

Mr Hiles fell off a dance podium after losing consciousness when he was punched hard in the face, it is alleged.

He suffered a severe brain injury and died two days later from his injuries.

Speaking to BBC Wales last May, Mr Hiles's father Denzil said: "The British police say they can't do anything until the Greeks have finished with the case.

"Every day I go to the cemetery. It's ruined his girlfriend's life, and both myself and my wife are on medication. I just want justice for Jonathan."

Liberty campaigns coordinator Sabina Frediani said: "No one should be sent anywhere, be it Europe, the US or elsewhere, without a case being made in a local court.

"British justice should not be circumvented in this way."

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