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Protest staged over British student in Greek jail

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Sophie Symeou. London protest.

Sophie Symeou sister of Andrew Symeou reacts outside the Greek embassy in London, during a protest about what they allege is her brother’s treatment at the hands of the Greek legal system following another delay bring him to trial. Photo: AP Photo/Alastair Grant

11 January 2010

Supporters of a British student held in Greece on manslaughter charges have protested at London’s Greek Embassy.

Andrew Symeou, 21, is accused of killing Jonathan Hiles, 18, of Cardiff, by punching him in a nightclub on the isle of Zante in 2007.

Mr Symeou, of Enfield, north London, is in Korydallos prison in Athens, a jail condemned by Amnesty International.

His sister Sophie, who led supporters in the protest, said the case against him was “riddled with contradictions.”

About 100 protesters chanted “enough is enough” and “justice for Andrew” outside the embassy in west London.

They called for an end to his detention, a trial date to be set and an inquiry into allegations of police misconduct.

They tried to hand staff letters setting out the case for Mr Symeou’s innocence but they were not accepted.

Andrew Symeou has been in custody in Greece since July

Sophie Symeou said: “The case against my brother is riddled with contradictions and inconsistencies suggestive of manipulation and in places fabrication of evidence by police officers.

“Andrew has been held in a Greek prison without a trial for nearly six months and has been refused bail twice.

“My brother has suffered for too long and this cannot continue. We are protesting outside the Greek Embassy to say enough is enough.”

Mr Hiles, who was in Britain’s roller-hockey team, died in July 2007 two days after falling off a dance podium in a nightclub.

Bournemouth University student Mr Symeou has denied killing him saying that he was not in the club at the time.

He was extradited to Greece in July after losing a High Court battle.

Mr Symeou was held at a detention centre for young people north of Athens until he was transferred to Korydallos prison.

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