Sunday, 28 September 2008

Andrew Symeou

Andrew's railroading continues:

Andrew Symeou, 19, from north London, was arrested by British police on June 26 after Greek authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant.

The case has reopened a debate about the warrants, which were introduced without fanfare in 2002 and which allow any European Union citizen to be extradited to face trial in another EU country without evidence being heard in a domestic court.

Mr Symeou, who was remanded on £20,000 bail paid by his mother Helen, and had his passport seized, is wanted in connection with the death of another British holidaymaker, 18-year-old Jonathan Hiles from Cardiff, who died after an incident at the Rescue nightclub on Zante on 20 July 2007. He was allegedly punched, fell off a stage and cracked his skull when he hit the floor.

Mr Symeou, a student at Bournemouth University, denies the charge and says he was not even in the nightclub until three hours after the incident.

Mr Hiles, 18, who had represented the Great Britain roller hockey team and played ice hockey for Cardiff Devils' junior team, was taken to hospital in Athens where he died on 22 July 2007.

Mr Symeou, from Enfield, north London, has never been interviewed by Greek police. If he is extradited he could spend 18 months in Greece awaiting for trial for an offence that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The European Commission says the introduction of European Arrest Warrants has been "made possible by a high level of mutual trust and co-operation between countries who share the same highly-demanding conception of the rule of law".

But critics claim that widely-varying standards of criminal justice within the EU will inevitably lead to miscarriages of justice.

New laws approved recently by the European Parliament, but still to be ratified by member states, will make the extradition process almost automatic - even if the individual has already been convicted and sentenced at a trial at which he was not present.

The first and primary duty of any system of government is to protect the country itself from invasion. The second is to protect the rights of the citizens from a similar such invasion. That clearly and obviously includes protecting the rights of those accused to a fair trial.

Our current system doesn't do that, as we can see above. So it would be entirely fair to say that our corrent system of government, where 80% and more of our laws come from Brussels, has failed.

About time we went back to a system that actually worked, that did protect our rights, don't you think?

1 comment:

Roger Thornhill said...

We had a system that worked. Lets have it back. Withdraw from the EU.