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Frustration goes on for holiday victim's family
THE family of a man whose body was exhumed for a DNA test a year ago have spoken of their frustration at being unable to get the results.
The parents of Christopher Rochester, who died on holiday in Rhodes, Greece, in June 2000, agreed to the exhumation in the hope of settling a dispute about a missing body part.
Christopher, 24, of Chester-le- Street, County Durham, bled to death in hospital following a balcony fall, and was returned to England missing a kidney.
An organ was subsequently found in Greece but a DNA test commissioned by the family showed that it was someone else’s.
The Greek authorities refused to accept that evidence and insisted on a new test with samples from Christopher’s body.
He was removed from his grave in the early hours of Monday, June 27, last year to get a new DNA sample for the test.
Samples were analysed in a Belgian laboratory but the Greek authorities have still not revealed the outcome.
Christopher’s stepfather, George Cummings, said: “Since then there has been absolutely zero. The last we heard was the Greeks were waiting for the test results to be translated from French to Greek.
“They received the results about six weeks after the exhumation so it is about ten-anda- half months to do a translation, and it still isn’t done. Until the Greeks release those findings they know we can do nothing.
“It is the same old same old. We need the Greeks to do something and they have done zilch.
“Why they carried out that exhumation we will never know.”
Mr Cummings and his wife, Pam, need the test result to launch legal action against the medics who they believe unlawfully removed the kidney.
A long legal battle eventually ended with one junior doctor being convicted of manslaughter by neglect.
Mr Cummings said Greece’s economic problems were no excuse for the continual delay.
“They haven’t wanted this to happen since Chris died,” he said.
“They don’t want to release the results to us.’’ He added that the family’s only other option was to commission another DNA test – but the Greeks would not accept it.
“All it would do is show what we’ve known all along – that that kidney does not belong to Christopher.’’