Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 11:52 UK

Student to face trial in Greece

Andrew Symeou
Andrew Symeou has always denied responsibility for the death

A London student is to face a manslaughter trial in Greece after the House of Lords refused to hear his extradition appeal.

Andrew Symeou, from Enfield, has been accused of manslaughter after Jonathan Hiles, 18, from Cardiff, died in Zakynthos in 2007.

Mr Symeou, 20, who says evidence was fabricated, recently lost a High Court fight against extradition.

He will now be extradited to Greece on 23 July.

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

Brain injury

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

The High Court has previously refused to block Mr Symeou's extradition, which was sought by the Greek authorities under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

In June, Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Ouseley said the case raised issues of law of public importance. They decided the Law Lords should be given the opportunity to investigate.

The judges decided "with considerable misgivings" that there was an argument that extradition should be halted due to alleged misconduct by Greek police.

Jonathon Hiles
Jonathan Hiles represented the Great Britain roller hockey team

But the House of Lords refused to hear the appeal as his case "did not have an arguable point of law of general public importance".

Mr Symeou's lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC has claimed the original extradition order failed to take into account the allegation that witnesses had been pressured into making statements.

Two of Mr Symeou's friends had remained on the island and there was evidence they had been beaten while in custody, said Mr Fitzgerald.

He argues that the alleged behaviour of the Greek police is tantamount to "bad faith" which should have a bearing on the extradition.

Jago Russell, chief executive of Fair Trials International, said: "The case against Andrew Symeou is built on mistaken identity, conflicting evidence and a flawed police investigation.

"It is a tragedy that, despite this, the British courts have ordered this young man's extradition to Greece where he could spend months in jail before his case is even heard by a court."

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.

Last year Mr Hiles's father Denzil said he was frustrated by the lack of progress in the case.



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