Father of British teenager killed in Greece to meet investigators

 

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The Independent Online

The father of a British teenager who died in Greece four years ago will travel to the country next week to tell Greek authorities that he believes his son was murdered.

It will be the first time that David Cryer has been allowed to meet Greek investigators and comes after a four year fight by Matthew’s family to discover the truth about the 17-year-old’s death on the island of Zante in July 2008.

Matthew, from Killamarsh, was on holiday with friends in the popular resort of Laganas. He was found lying in the street outside the Cocktails and Dreams nightclub and died later in hospital. Police said at the time that Matthew’s death was the result of choking and a cardiac arrest caused by heavy drinking.

However, a UK coroner concluded in 2009 that Matthew had been unlawfully killed. An autopsy found that he had suffered 20 injuries including severe head injuries and bruising. Witnesses at the inquest said that they had seen bouncers at the nightclub push him down the stairs and attack him as he lay on the ground. The inquest also heard from witnesses that police stood smoking just yards away while the attack took place. One witness said that she had not been allowed to make a statement to police after being intimidated by the club’s bouncers.

Evidence from the UK inquest was submitted to the Greek authorities two years ago, but only now has Matthew’s father been invited to make a statement to a Greek magistrate on Zante.

Matthew’s parents have received a letter from the Prime Minister in which he expressed sympathy with the family and referred the matter to the Europe Minister David Lidington. David and Maria Cryer will meet a Greek magistrate on Wednesday to make statements accompanied by two witnesses to the events surrounding Matthew’s death and an officer from Derbyshire Constabulary, who have passed on hundreds of pages of evidence on the case to Greek authorities.

Matthew’s mother Joanne Froud met Greek prosecutors in 2010. Greek police reopened the case in April last year, but Mr Cryer said that correspondence from them since indicated that they were standing by their original verdict that Matthew’s death was not suspicious.

“I can’t wait to get out there,” Matthew’s father David told the Independent. “We need to make some progress on this. It’s taken four years and we’ve been pushing every single week. It takes its toll on you.”