Malcolm Hay, the dealer controversially convicted by an Athens court of trading in illegally excavated antiquities, has learnt that the hearing of the appeal he lodged in March 2011 has been delayed until February 1, 2013 owing to disruption caused by strikes in Greece.

Mr Hay, who was subjected to years of legal action under the much-criticised European Arrest Warrant process, was convicted in his absence on what appeared to be little or no hard evidence.

The process, which has already cost him more than £100,000 in expenses and associated fees, saw his sentence reduced from four years in prison to three years suspended.