THE DEVASTATED family of a young man who was found dead in mysterious circumstances while on holiday in Ibiza, and whose body was returned to the UK without his heart, is desperately attempting to raise money to finance a legal investigation to find out what happened to him.
Anwaar Lahrichi-Greenwood from Edmonton, north London, who travelled to the island for a holiday, was found naked in San Antonio port on August 5 last year, 30 hours after being reported missing.
Spanish police quickly concluded death by misadventure or drowning.
But family members uncovered reliable evidence from British witnesses that the 24-yearold was attacked by three Spanish men and hit over the head with a bottle.
When Anwaar’s body was returned to the UK his grieving family was shocked to discover that his heart had been removed for forensic purposes without being consulted. As a result, they are unable to bury Anwaar.
Now the Lahrichi-Greenwood family hopes the crowdfunding appeal they have set up will help pay for lawyers to insure a proper investigation in Spain is conducted.
A spokesperson for the family told The Voice: “This experience has devastated our family and sadly we are not alone. There has been a disproportionate number of young people dying and sustaining injuries in Ibiza. We don’t want other families to face a wall of silence.”
They have accused Spanish police of not properly investigating Anwaar’s death and failing to interview witnesses, or secure vital evidence, such as CCTV footage.
Also, little information has been given on what tests were carried out or when and how his heart will be returned.
Now his family are hoping to raise £15,000 through a crowdfunding appeal, to pay for a Spanish lawyer, a UK lawyer and raise funds for a UK inquest when the Spanish process has been completed.
In Spanish law, it is not possible to access any information without having a legal representative, so they need a lawyer in the UK and Ibiza.
And because the case is overseas, they are not entitled to legal aid. They will not receive any legal aid in the UK, either.
Syan Angol, Anwaar’s first cousin, told The Voice: “The family is not coping very well. It seems to be getting harder for us as the months pass by, because we have not been able to bury Anwaar.
“We were devastated and shocked when we were told that he was found floating naked in Port Marina.
“How could he be floating in a pool of water which is heavily used by tourists for 30 hours and nobody notice him? A lot of information around his death does not add up.
“We are appealing to the public to help us raise the necessary funds so we can continue to employ lawyers and convey to the Spanish authorities the need to take our case seriously.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have scheduled a meeting with the family on Friday, February 8.
Explaining the legal process, the family’s lawyer Jude Lanchin, of Bindmans, told The Voice:
“The legal system in Ibiza means that any questions the family has regarding the time-frame for forensic work (and anything else about the case) has to go through a protracted process. First, their Spanish lawyer has to submit a written document to the Court; after a number of weeks, the assigned Judge then directs the queries on to the relevant authorities – for example, the police or the Forensic Unit in Barcelona. Then there is a further delay while they respond. This is agonisingly slow.”
She continued: “Although this is unusual, at my request, the Spanish lawyer wrote directly to the Unit, but has had no response to her last email sent on December 5, 2018.
“The British Consulate has also tried to find out the situation.
“So, after five months, we are still unclear as to the nature and purpose of the remaining tests to be conducted on Anwaar’s heart, when they will be done and when/how his heart can be returned to the family so they can finally bury him and begin their grieving process properly.”
During summer last year, eight UK citizens died in Ibiza, the majority in San Antonio. The causes of the deaths have varied. Among them was Paul Gardner, from Newcastle, was celebrating his 24th birthday in August 2018 when he died while cliff jumping at an Ibiza cove.
Angol said: “If our campaign following Anwar’s death can prevent further loss of life in Ibiza, it will be a boost for the family.
“We want to raise awareness of the potential dangers when travelling to Ibiza and the need for young travellers to be safety-conscious when travelling, and insured.
“At the same time, we hope the Spanish government will see the need to make any necessary adjustments to prevent further loss of life.”
If you would like to support the family’s campaign, visit crowdjustice.com/case/ justice-for-anwaar