England

Crete attack case five 'to be extradited to Greece'

Robert Hughes before and after
Image caption Robert Hughes before the incident - and recovering afterwards

Five men charged with attacking a footballer outside a Crete nightclub could be extradited to Greece within a week, their solicitor has said.

The five, all from Surrey and Sussex, deny stabbing ex-Oxford United player Robert Hughes, 28, from south London.

They hoped to take their case against extradition to the European Court of Human Rights but their solicitor Karen Todner said the attempt was rebuffed.

She said the extradition of the men could go ahead within a week.

In a statement, she maintained their innocence and said they faced "horrendous" conditions in a Greek prison.

The alleged attack happened outside a Crete nightclub in June 2008. Mr Hughes, from Croydon was left in a coma and had to undergo three life-saving brain operations.

Curtis Taylor, 20, Daniel Bell, 21, and Sean Branton, 20, all from Horley, Surrey; Benjamin Herdman, 20, from Worth, West Sussex, and George Hollands, 22, from Reigate, Surrey, are all accused of serious assault.

'High threshold'

The men, who are all aged in their 20s, were detained under European arrest warrants in December after declining an offer to return voluntarily to Greece.

In February, City of Westminster Magistrates' Court ordered their extradition to face trial.

The men's appeal against the decision was rejected by the UK High Court last month.

Lawyers for the five then applied to the judges for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest court in England and Wales.

But three days ago the High Court refused permission, saying the claim fell short of the "high threshold" necessary to block extradition.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites