There has been a breakthrough for a Scottish family that has been campaigning for the Spanish police to open an investigation into the death of an Edinburgh man who died during a trip to the Costa del Sol last October.
Just weeks after the case of Chris Lindsay was highlighted by euronews in an episode of Right On, a Spanish judge has ordered the police in the town of Fuengirola to launch a formal probe into the death.
The young man, who had just become a father, was found in the street with severe injuries after a night out with work mates. Before he died of organ failure, Chris Lindsay told hospital staff he had been assaulted. He had bad bruising on his body and his passport and wallet were missing.
But the family was horrified to learn that no official criminal probe was opened and they had to call on Victim Support Scotland to help in their battle to get answers.
Chris’s partner Vikki Soloman gave this reaction to euronews on Monday: “I am relieved that the Spanish police now have to investigate Chris’s death, but it is such a shame that in today’s society this has taken 12 months, with extreme media publicity and emotional turmoil for all of the family. The facts were, Chris was admitted to hospital with signs of violence, his belongings were missing and he told a nurse he had been attacked.
“There should have been an immediate investigation, when there were witnesses and evidence. Hopefully our case highlights this and the system changes to avoid other families having to go through this pain and distress.”
Last month Vikki and Chris’s father, Harry Lindsay, told the Right On programme how they were confronted with language barriers, a struggle to get information and bureaucratic mix-ups.
Vikki said: “We’re trying to grieve the loss of somebody very important to us, but we can’t really grieve because we actually still don’t know what’s happened. But even if we have an idea of what’s happened, we’re angry with the system now and the length of time it’s taking.
“Nobody can move on with their life because it’s still there in the background and we’re still fighting against the courts to get our case opened up in court and to get it looked at at the Spanish end. And the more that time goes on, the less evidence and information they’ve got, and people do forget.”
A family friend who is a retired lawyer has been trying to help with the fresh legal moves in Spain and Victim Support Scotland travelled to the Costa del Sol with Harry Lindsay last month to try to raise awareness about the case.