Greek Court's decision in case highlights evidential difficulties
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The decision of the Greek Court to acquit Mr Symeou of the death of Jonathan Hiles in July 2007 highlights the difficulties families face when their loved ones are involved in an incident abroad.
Sadly, in this case Jonathan Hiles died after allegedly being punched and falling from a podium in a Greek nightclub. Mr Symeou was extradited to Greece and stood trial accused of manslaughter and of being responsible for the fatal blow.
Now the family are fighting on, no doubt struggling their way through the Greek legal system as they attempt to find further evidence of what happened to Jonathan on the night of his death.
Pursuing any claim abroad can be difficult. Pursuing a case where the consequences are so tragic is all the more so, both emotionally and financially. I have acted for other families whose relatives have been involved in fatal or near-fatal incidents abroad. One of the most important things once the grieving process is over, is to find the energy to drive the case forward, involving as many organisations as possible to lobby for the cause.
It will not be easy for the family of Jonathan Hiles to get the evidence they need to piece together what happened that July night in Laganas. The town is known for its lively nightlife, with young people visiting in their thousands each summer to enjoy the hedonistic lifestyle on offer, for a week or two. Memories which would have been questionnable at the time due to the influence of alcohol soon fade. One just hopes that, even if there is no criminal or civil liability, the family find what they are looking for so that they can see closure and move on as best they can from this tragic event.
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