Delays hit Greek trial over death of tourist

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The Independent Online

The family of a British holidaymaker allegedly killed by the neglect of hospital doctors on a Greek island are claiming that their legal representation has been sabotaged.

The trial of five medical staff charged with the manslaughter of Chris Rochester from Co Durham, on Rhodes, was adjourned until May yesterday after lawyers acting for his family pulled out at short notice and two defendants failed to turn up.

Mr Rochester died aged 24 two years ago after falling from a balcony. He suffered severe injuries, which his family claim were not helped by poor treatment from a medical team at Rhodes Town hospital.

Two Greek lawyers for the family have pulled out. George Cummings, the victim's stepfather, said: "A local lawyer agreed to take the case and then suddenly he got very busy and had to drop it. We're not convinced he's dropped it of his own accord."

A third, Sotiris Manolkidis, agreed to take the case on Tuesday but had only two hours to study 1,500 pages of documents, leaving little choice but to accept the defence's request for a delay.

The family first became suspicious when their dead son was returned to England minus his left kidney. When a kidney was eventually dispatched, DNA tests showed it had not belonged to him.