LETTERS: Consular help for Britons in jail abroad

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Sir: Carol Green (letter, 15 December) refers to a British citizen sentenced to death in 1988 for the murder of another British citizen. The sentence was commuted to life, due to a change in law. The individual concerned has been visited regularl y over the years, most recently on 25 November.

The postponement of the appeal was not for the reason given by Ms Green. The judge did not require the Consul's presences, nor was this necessary for any other reason.

The prisoner himself asked that the appeal be postponed due to the absence of a lawyer, whom he said the Embassy were appointing. This was not the case. The Embassy did not appoint a lawyer, nor were they asked to. The prisoner refused the court's offer of another lawyer.

Ms Green was told by us and by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on 8 December that consular attendance had not been required by the court.

Yours sincerely, OLIVER MILES HM Ambassador Athens 15 December