Family of Jonathan Hiles to appeal over Greece death

A father from Cardiff has said he will appeal against the decision of a Greek court to acquit a man of the manslaughter of his son.

Andrew Symeou, 22, from Enfield, north London, was cleared a week ago of killing Jonathan Hiles in Zakynthos.

Mr Hiles, 18, who was on holiday in July 2007 when he fell from a dance podium, died from a brain injury.

His father Denzil said he had taken legal advice and confirmed he would appeal.

"We've thought long and hard about the appeal and we feel it is in Jonathan's best interest and Jonathan's friends' best interests if we appeal to the Greek magistrates," said his father.

Mr Symeou was accused of punching the teenager in the face and causing him to fall from the podium.

The incident happened the day before Mr Hiles's 19th birthday.

Mr Symeou had denied being in the nightclub at the time.

He was extradited to Greece to face trial in July 2009 and was the subject of a campaign to free him by the charity Fair Trials International.

Image caption Denzil Hiles is appealing for anyone with information about the incident in the club to come forward

"We're appealing for anyone who was in Laganas on 22/23 of July 2007, if they could come forward and say 'we were there, we remember something happening'," said Denzil Hiles.

"Maybe they don't remember much, but anything.

"Maybe there are pictures with people in the club on that night who remember something, pictures even of Jonathan and his friends because they were there for a while, people who would remember the incident."

He said he would never feel closure over the death of his son.

"We think about Jonathan every day. Sure, it's easier than it was [but] there's a feeling of tremendous loss, there's a feeling that Jonathan is no longer with us," he added.

After last Friday's hearing, Mr Symeou said the verdict had 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," he said in a statement.

"I can finally return home and begin building my life again."

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