GREEK prosecutors have rejected calls for an appeal against the acquittal of Andrew Symeou, who was cleared of manslaughter.

Denzil Hiles, the father of Jonathan Hiles, who died in Greece in 2007, said last Friday that he wanted to lodge an appeal after Mr Symeou, from Enfield, walked free from court in Patras on
June 17.

Mr Symeou, 22, was accused of punching Mr Hiles off a podium in a nightclub on the Greek Island of Zante.

But following the trial which lasted months, the public prosecutor in the Patras court decided to recommend that the jury return a not guilty verdict.

Last week Mr Hiles said: “We’ve thought long and hard about the appeal and we feel it is in Jonathan’s best interests and his friends’ best interests to appeal.

“Our lawyer only had three days to look at the case, which they had four years to prepare for. We believe had we been given longer to look at the papers he could have presented a better case.”

But on Monday the Symeou family were told the public prosecutor would not allow an appeal to go ahead.

Andrew, who flew home to London on Friday, told the Advertiser: “The fundamental facts will never change – I did not fit the description of the person who was said to have punched Jonathan off the podium.”

During the court hearing lawyers acting for the Symeou family filed perjury charges against five prosecution witnesses, who are alleged to have changed their descriptions of the person they believed punched Mr Hiles. That case is still waiting to be heard.

Mr Symeou added: “We are going ahead with the
perjury charges but, knowing the Greek courts as I do, it will be some time before it comes to court. They will be summoned at some point.”

Mr Symeou was extradited to Greece in 2009 and spent almost a year in jail while he waited for the trial to begin in March this year. He was supported by human rights group Fair Trials International and the Greek authorities were criticised for going ahead with the court case despite a lack of evidence and amid reports that
witnesses had been intimidated by police.

“It was a huge relief to arrive home,” added Mr Symeou. “There were about 50 friends and family in the house to welcome me home and it was overwhelming.

“Things haven’t really sunk in yet.”

Source: Enfield Advertiser

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