Friday, June 17, 2011


Andrew Symeou the young man arrested under the controversial European Arrest Warrant has been found not guilty.

A student from north London who was accused of killing a Welsh roller hockey player on holiday in Greece has been cleared of manslaughter.

Andrew Symeou, 22, from Enfield, was charged with the manslaughter of Jonathan Hiles, from Cardiff, at a Zakynthos nightclub in July 2007.

Mr Hiles, who fell from a dance podium, died after he suffered a brain injury.

Mr Symeou denied being in the nightclub at the time. He has been held in Greece since his extradition in July 2009.
He was held in a Greek prison having been extradited, he was held in an overcrowded prison condemned by human rights groups for its inhumane treatment of inmates. Mr Symeou has revealed the appalling conditions in the maximum-security Korydallos jail in Athens. "I've seen people beaten half to death, I've seen blood, I've heard people being raped at night," he said, adding: "I've been verbally threatened and I've had to deal with all this. Yet the evidence given to extract him would not have passed scrutiny in a UK court.

It all started on the holiday island of Zakynthos at 1.30am on 20 July 2007. In a nightclub called Rescue, a young Welshman, Jonathan Hiles, remonstrated with someone for urinating on the floor. That person then punched him and he fell, suffering fatal brain injuries. Five of Jonathan's friends, with him that night, gave initial statements to police saying the assailant was clean-shaven, with a blue shirt.

Andrew says he wasn't in Rescue when the incident happened, and had no idea it had even taken place. He had a beard at the time, and wore a yellow shirt that night. On 22 and 23 July, the victim's five friends, in separate interviews, gave new statements to the police identifying Andrew, from a group photo, as the killer.

But there was something odd. Although supposedly taken at different times on different days, all the statements used precisely the same words. The photo shown to the witnesses had Andrew circled with the word "perpetrator" written on it.

Then the police hauled in two friends Andrew had been with on the night of the killing. They, too, gave statements implicating Andrew.

But as soon as they emerged from police custody, they retracted them, saying the testimony had been dictated to, and beaten out, of them.

Georgina Clay, their holiday rep, saw the two afterwards. One had a swollen face, she said, and they were clearly terrified.

In statements to the Welsh inquest into Jonathan's death, the five original witnesses against Andrew also changed their stories. Four of them now said they hadn't seen the punch being thrown at all, only the urination. And the descriptions all gave still didn't match Andrew Symeou. These statements appear to be the only evidence against him.

They are highly unlikely to have passed the threshold for prosecution in this country.
This scandal is not so much about Andrew Symeou, though the sheer injustice of his incarceration before his trial is an utter scandal. This is about the idiocy of our politicians who allowed a law which enabled UK citizens to be snatched from this country on evidence that would not pass scrutiny in a UK court, because the UK courts are obliged to assume all other countries courts who are signatory to the "European Arrest Warrants" are by definition equally fair, and operate to equal standards as the UK. equivalent standard, when clearly the case is that they are not and do not.
So instead we had a young man dragged off to Greece and incarcerated waiting for trial for almost 2 years on clearly trumped up charges. Witnesses appear to have been abused and forced to sign confessions and such confessions being clearly at odds to the facts. His trial was a total farce with cheap court interpreters being replaced 3 times for being unable to translate accurately the proceedings to Andrew and the real perpetrator who murdered Jonathan Hiles seems to have gotten away with it as the man the Greek Police had in their sights clearly and obviously didn't do it!
This is the legacy you get for allowing integration via the EU route, important safeguards such as habeus corpus have been bypassed in the pursuit of making the various police forces lives easier. Andrew Symeou would not have even been convicted by a UK court, held in custody for any length of time and released by extradition into the hands of another countries police force on the evidence presented.
We have the EU to thank that he was.
Can we leave yet?

1 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Justice indeed. Now IS the time to leave.