Andrew Symeou cleared over death on Zakynthos
- 17 June 2011
- From the section London
A student from north London who was accused of killing a Welsh roller hockey player in Greece has been cleared of manslaughter, the charity Fair Trials International has said.
Andrew Symeou, 22, from Enfield, was charged with the manslaughter of Jonathan Hiles, from Cardiff, at a nightclub in Zakynthos in July 2007.
Mr Hiles, 18, who fell from a dance podium, died from a brain injury.
Mr Symeou had denied being in the nightclub at the time.
He has been held in Greece since his extradition in July 2009.
'Four year nightmare'
The Londoner was accused of punching the teenager in the face, knocking him out in the process and causing him to fall from the podium.
Fair Trials International said much of the apparent evidence against Mr Symeou, who studied in Bournemouth, was based on details obtained by Greek police officers who intimidated witnesses.
The prosecutor at the court recommended Mr Symeou be acquitted, the charity said, and the jury found him not guilty.
"There are no winners or losers, only pursuit of the truth," said Mr Symeou in a statement afterwards.
"Today's verdict has only stopped further injustice and a possible gross miscarriage of justice.
"I was not involved in any way in the death of Jonathan Hiles and the court agrees.
"I can finally return home and begin building my life again."
Jago Russell, chief executive of Fair Trials International, said Mr Symeou was subjected to a "four-year nightmare".
"While his friends were free to start their adult lives, Andrew was being dragged before the British courts, shipped off to a foreign land and held behind bars in one of Europe's worst prisons."