England

Crete footballer attack case men bailed

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

Five men accused of attacking a footballer outside a Crete nightclub have been bailed following their extradition to Greece.

The men, all from Surrey and Sussex, deny stabbing ex-Oxford United player Robert Hughes, 28, of Croydon, in 2008.

They will be allowed to return to the UK once sureties ranging from €3,000 (£2,480) to €12,000 (£9,921) have been deposited.

Mr Hughes was in a coma and had three brain operations following the attack.

Ben Herdman, 20, from Worth, West Sussex, George Hollands, 22, from Reigate, Surrey, and Curtis Taylor, Daniel Bell and Sean Branton, all 20 and from Horley in Surrey, were flown to Greece last week.

'Seen sense'

The men were detained under European arrest warrants in December after declining an offer to return voluntarily to Greece.

Mike Herdman, the father of Mr Herdman, said the decision to bail the men improved his perception of Greek justice but he was still opposed to the European Arrest Warrant.

The trial is not expected to take place until at least 2011.

In February, City of Westminster Magistrates' Court ordered the men's extradition to face trial.

Their attempts to overturn the extradition order through the UK's High Court and then the European Court of Human Rights failed.

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