NEWS

Briton Symeou denied bail again

A court on Zakynthos has rejected an appeal by a young Briton to be released on bail despite the fact that he has been held for the last six months awaiting trial in an alleged manslaughter case, Kathimerini English Edition learned yesterday. Andrew Symeou, currently in custody at Korydallos Prison, had been hoping that his third bail appeal would be granted after a council of judges on Zakynthos heard his case. But his father, Frank Symeou, revealed the application was turned down and is not likely to be reviewed for another six months. «This is once again a severe blow,» he said in an e-mailed statement. «Andrew is extremely disappointed by the news and is battling within himself to find the inner strength to continue.» Andrew Symeou and his lawyers had already lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), claiming his continued detention on the grounds that he is not Greek is illegal. «It seems the court has taken the ECHR application seriously and has not included the fact that Andrew is not a Greek national in this latest ruling,» said Frank Symeou. «Unlike the previous ruling, it is suggested that if released, Andrew is likely to offend again.» The Symeou family point out that Andrew has no criminal record and has provided ample character references to the court. Symeou was arrested at his home in London in June 2008 over the death of 18-year-old Jonathon Hiles in a Zakynthos nightclub in July 2007. Hiles was punched and then hit his head after falling off a dance stage. He died in the hospital two days later. Symeou denies being in the club at the time of the incident and there are doubts about the investigation carried out by Zakynthos police, as key witnesses claimed they were coerced into identifying the Londoner as the main suspect. The 21-year-old was transferred to Greece in July 2009. «I don’t know what more we can do,» said Frank Symeou. «I don’t know how much more Andrew can take. Why is he being treated like this? He should not be in prison, he should be at home with us. I now urge the court to set a trial date as soon as possible.»