Bri­ton cleared of is­land killing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A hu­man rights char­ity has called for the Euro­pean Ar­rest War­rant to be re­viewed af­ter a Greek court ac­quit­ted a Bri­tish man of killing a fel­low hol­i­day­maker on Zakyn­thos al­most four years af­ter the al­leged in­ci­dent oc­curred.

A Pa­tra court rul­ing on Fri­day deemed that 21year-old Andrew Symeou was not guilty of the man­slaugh­ter of 18-year-old Jonathan Hiles, end­ing an or­deal that had seen the Lon­doner spend the last 23 months in Greece try­ing to clear his name.

Symeou and his fam­ily had main­tained that the stu­dent had noth­ing to do with the in­ci­dent that led to Hiles be­ing punched in a night­club and later dy­ing from head in­juries. In the cul­mi­na­tion of a three­month trial, which had re­peat­edly been post­poned, the pros­e­cu­tor agreed that there was no ev­i­dence link­ing Symeou with Hiles’s man­slaugh­ter and the jury re­turned a “not guilty” ver­dict.

Af­ter be­ing ar­rested in Lon­don in June 2008 and then ex­tra­dited to Greece in July 2009, Symeou spent 10 months in sev­eral Greek jails, in­clud­ing the high-se­cu­rity Ko­ry­dal­los Prison, where he was locked up with hard­ened crim­i­nals in con­di­tions that the Fair Tri­als In­ter­na­tional (FTI) char­ity called “ap­palling.” De­spite re­peated ap­peals by his par­ents, Frank and He­len, as well FTI, Greek ju­di­cial authorities re­jected ap­pli­ca­tions for bail on the ba­sis that Symeou was not a res­i­dent in Greece. Fol­low­ing Symeou’s ac­quit­tal, FTI called for Euro­pean authorities to re-ex­am­ine the grounds on which Euro­pean Ar­rest War­rants, which al­low sus­pects to be ex­tra­dited within EU coun­tries even if there is a lack of clear ev­i­dence link­ing them to a crime, are is­sued.

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