Two British MPs have called for UK authorities to take a more active role in the investigation over the death of a young Briton during a brawl in the Greek seaside resort of Malia in Crete in July, for which another young Briton was arrested by local police and is currently in custody pending trial, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
Tyrell Matthews-Burton, 20, was stabbed to death during a brawl believed to have involved some 30 British youths in Malia on the coast of Iraklio in the early hours of July 23. Greek police arrested Myles Litchmore-Dunbar, then aged 19, in connection with the incident. He has been charged with murder and is currently in custody awaiting trial.
According to the BBC, Labour MP Heidi Alexander expressed “serious concerns” about the Greek authorities’ handling of the case, telling the Commons that Litchmore-Dunbar’s family, who live in her constituency in Lewisham East, believe the support provided to them by the British Government has been “wholly inadequate.”
Alexander called on the British authorities to seek a more active role in the investigation. Litchmore-Dunbar has repeatedly claimed he is innocent of the crime with which he is being accused.
She also cast aspersions on local law enforcement procedures after claiming that Greek police sent the victim’s family the clothes he was wearing on the night of the stabbing.
“I am at a loss to understand why this clothing would not be retained in Greece as evidence and I am concerned that this suggests the Greek authorities may be failing to deal with this matter appropriately,” Alexander was quoted by the BBC as saying.
The representative for the family of Matthew-Burton, also a Labour MP, meanwhile, added that she has applied to British authorities to undertake their own investigation of the incident.
“The Foreign Office tell me… that ‘Because we don’t know the quality of the Greek investigation’ they have decided they cannot tell whether it would be appropriate to ask the Met to get involved,” Stella Creasy said according to the BBC’s report.
“What confidence can we then have that justice will be done?” she added.
Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire, however, told the BBC that British police cannot be involved in a case that has happened on foreign soil.
“Even in cases where a suspect is British, the jurisdiction of the country where the crime took place takes precedence,” he said.
Swire told the BBC that the victim’s mother has secured access to a Greek lawyer and legal funding following a meeting with Creasy and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The Metropolitan Police also told the BBC that they have a family liaison officer who is supporting the victim’s family, but they could not become involved in the case unless they receive an official request from the Greek authorities.