British student faces trial over tourist death

The trial of Andrew Symeou, a 22-year-old British Cypriot who spent almost a year in custody in Greece over accusations that he caused the death of an 18-year-old Welsh tourist on Zakynthos, was to begin in a Patra court on Friday. Symeou, a student from north London, is charged with the manslaughter of Jonathon Hiles, who was fatally injured after falling off a nightclub podium in July 2007.

Symeou, who was extradited to Greece in the summer of 2009, denies any involvement in the death of Hiles who was punched and hit his head after falling from the club podium.

The British student was held for 10 months in Attica?s high-security Korydallos jail and had two applications for bail turned down on the grounds that he was not a Greek resident, prompting an outcry from human rights groups who lobbied for his release.

Symeou?s lawyers insist that the 22-year-old had not even been in the club at the time of Hiles?s fall while friends claim Symeou had received threats from Greek police officers.

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