Six accused in the dock for the death of Zak Kostopoulos

Parents of Zak Kostopoulos insist on expediting the start of the trial over the death of their son in September 2018.

The owner of a jewelry store on Glastonos Street, a real estate agent and four police officers who arrived at the scene will sit in the United District Court’s dock. They are accused of causing grievous bodily harm that led to the death of Zak Kostopoulos.

Παπαρούσου: Κατ ‘αρχήν επιτρέπεται η δημοσιότητα και αν κάποιος διαφωνεί προβάλλονται αντιρρήσεις. Στη δίκη της ΧΑ είχαμε και εικόνα που ήταν πολύ σημαντική, δεν γίνεται χωρίς τη σύμφωνη γνώμη των παραγό τήςνα ατηοηοναιταηαηαναηαναναναναν#ZOJWatch

– ZackieOh Justice Watch (@ZJusticeWatch) October 20, 2021

The judges conferred with the prosecutor’s office for a long time on what article to charge, and decided that it would be considered as murder with possible intent. The parents of the 33-year-old activist wrote to the court for a long time, demanding to determine the date of the trial. They submitted that the investigation of the case was being delayed.

“The administration of justice becomes necessary if it is done within a reasonable period of time from the moment the crime was committed. In order not to spread messages about impunity and act as a means of restraining violent and criminal behavior, ”journalists of the Ethnos newspaper quoted the letter from the parents.

Recall that in September 2018, in the center of Athens, on Glastonos Street, an incident occurred that led to the death of LGBT activist Zak Kostopoulos.

The police deny the charges against them, claiming that they never beat Kostopoulos. They were only doing their duty to detain a man who, according to the store owner, was listed as a robber. He “defended” himself with a long piece of glass, and then tried to escape.

According to the conclusion of the medical examination, Zak Kostopoulos died on September 21, 2018 on his way to the hospital from blood loss, heart failure and painful shock, which led to myocardial infarction. The causes of death were caused by the brutal beating of Kostopoulos by the jeweler and his friend, as well as numerous cuts from the broken glass of the display case, according to the final opinion of the forensic experts, published on Monday 19 November.

Previous toxicological tests showed that Zak Kostopoulos was not under the influence of drugs, and only minor traces of alcohol were traced in his blood. However, the examination data does not deny that the deceased was in a state of withdrawal syndrome (withdrawal symptoms).

It is worth noting that the public was waiting for the results for almost a month and a half, despite the fact that even the most difficult examination of this kind takes a maximum of several days. In this regard, there are rumors that the reason for the delay was pressure from supporters of the LGBT community in order to arrange a show trial.

Kostopoulos’s parents filed a complaint against the police, the shopkeeper and his neighbor for “causing grievous bodily harm leading to premeditated murder.”

How it all happened

The first version, which appeared in the wake of the robbery, sounded as follows: 33-year-old Zak Kostopoulos burst into a jewelry store with a knife when its owner left for a minute to a nearby trading establishment. When the owner saw that someone suspicious ran into his store, he, given the criminality of the area, pressed the door on the remote control, which slammed shut and blocked Kostopulos inside.

In a panic, the guy tried to smash it with a fire extinguisher, but to no avail. At this time, onlookers gathered on the sidewalk and watched the actions of a distraught man rushing through the store.

The owner ran to the store and they, together with the 55-year-old owner of a nearby store, who rushed to help a friend, saw Kostopoulos smash the bottom of the window and try to get out through it. Those outside – the owner of the jewelry store and his acquaintance – began to kick the robber with their feet, according to them, in order to prevent the escape. At the same time, Zak received numerous bruises from the blows and even more numerous cuts from the glass of the shop window he broke.

The summoned police squad twisted the failed robber, additionally “treating” him with a truncheon, but seeing his condition, the police called an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, Zak Kostopoulos died.

Version two:

By eyewitness accounts, Zach Costopoulos, being in a state of withdrawal syndrome, walked down the street and asked passers-by for money for a dose. A video posted on October 3 revealed that he was trying to get into fast food in the same area before entering a jewelry store.

Video from the surveillance cameras of the Venetti pastry shop shows how its employee does not let Zach into the room. He repels a young man of marginal appearance, preventing him from entering the catering establishment. Kostopoulos is outside of fast food. Video recording time 14.54.02. Jacques tries in vain to get into the store, the entrance is blocked by a man in a yellow shirt. The conflict between the store employee and the client attracts the glances of passers-by, apparently due to the squabble and “raised tones”. Then we see a bottle of water in Zach’s hands, and a store employee (in a yellow shirt) “attacks” him.

According to the testimony of witnesses of the subsequent “robbery” of the jeweler, Zak had nothing in his hands, except for a bottle of water. Earlier it was alleged that Kostopoulos was holding a knife, which was later found thrown in the store. Moreover, according to the examination, on the handle of the knife was found DNA Kostupulos, but then, miraculously, this data was ignored.

Then Kostopoulos enters the jewelry store in the absence of the owner, and the security door slams behind him. The guy rushes around the room, trying to break the door with a fire extinguisher, but to no avail. Then he smashes the bottom of the display case and tries to get out. At this time, the owner of the store and a neighbor who came to his aid kick Kostopulos with their feet so that he does not have time to get out and hide before the police arrive. According to them, he stole jewelry from the showcase, but later no jewelry was found in Zach’s pockets.

In the following shots, Zak Kostopoulos is seen plowing through the shards of a shop window and is hit by a hail of kicks from two people outside. These shots became a “stumbling block” in the tragic incident.

The young man, despite the attack, gets out. In order not to be tied up, he “defends himself” with a long piece of glass, and then tries to hide. A police squad arrives in time and chases after Jacques, who is bleeding (from the shards of a shop window), and immediately catches up with him. One of the policemen hits the exhausted guy with a truncheon. The police call an ambulance for the victim.

It is noted also, that Kostopoulos was HIV-infected and perhaps that is why the ambulance staff delayed the provision of medical assistance, or were not prepared for such a rapid development of myocardial infarction.

In addition to the criminal case against the owner of a jewelry store and his neighbor, the prosecutor’s office and the prosecutor general’s office are looking for a “racist motive” in the case of the death of Zac Kostopoulos at the request of Xenia Demetriou. The Chief Prosecutor, on the basis of the relevant documents, demands to find out whether the provisions of Law 4285/2014, which deals with the prosecution of “racist acts”, have been applied and considered.

Lawyers Annie Paparau and Chris Pettimery said: “It should be noted that the investigation of a crime requires the participation of the competent authorities in order to establish / characterize the violent actions of persons against the victim. Code of Greece), is to consider the competence of the police, as well as those who are at key points of the incident.

To the point connected human rights defenders

An Amnesty International spokeswoman said that “a transparent investigation should be carried out into the death of a 33-year-old LGBT activist (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc.) and the role of a policeman who, as seen on the video, hit the guy with a truncheon on the ground with a truncheon” …

Literally on the second day after the death of Kostupolos, numerous protests and riots began in Athens. Banks, government offices, shops and police were attacked.

As we wrote earlier, according to experts, this decision is political and is caused by the desire of SYRIZA to please its political allies. Experts are confident that if the police are convicted, this decision will further worsen the criminal situation in Greece. And the criminals will see this as a clear signal that it is possible to commit crimes with impunity, without expecting serious opposition from the police.

PS In the light of what happened, a recent exception MP Konstantinos Bogdanosan from the parliamentary faction of the ruling party (but not an exclusion from the party) New Democracy after his harsh anti-communist rhetoric in parliament, as well as numerous racist statements. Apparently, the usefulness of anti-communist rhetoric overlapped the topic in its importance outrageous racismAnd as a result, the authorities let everything go on the brakes.

Whether it’s the Golden Dawn. The process that ended a year ago shocked even the openly pro-government residents of Greece. The maximum terms possible only for membership in the party, outright harassment, threats and calls to murder members of the ill-fated “Chrisi Avgi” (Golden Dawn) – of course, this is different. It is noteworthy in this case, the open disregard of violations and strained accusations against the party and its members on the part of human rights organizations, who have taken water like a mouthful.

No, I do not support the Golden Dawn policy, but such blatant manipulation of laws is alarming.

PPS You have not yet forgotten the case of the boy named Alekos Grigoropoulos? On December 6, 2008, Epaminondas Korkoneas fired a shot in the air after 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos, along with his friend Nikos Romanos, began throwing stones at a police patrol while walking in the Exarchia district of Athens.

So, Korconeasa released after 11 years in a maximum security prison. Because of what there was a loud scandal, since the anarchists set a price for his head. The unfortunate and, in fact, innocent man had to hide (they say he went abroad).

It is difficult to predict how this process will end. It seems that the current police leadership is ready to break into a cake for the sake of their employees, and the anarchists have already lost their former influence. But on the other hand, the LGBT movement, after Biden came to power, despite its small number of members, acquired a very strong political influence. This means that the “servants of Themis” will have to find themselves under powerful pressure, which sharply increases the chances of a politically “necessary” decision.

Lawyers Annie Paparau and Chris Pettimery said: “It should be noted that the investigation of a crime requires the participation of the competent authorities in order to establish / characterize the violent actions of persons against the victim. Code of Greece), is to consider the competence of the police, as well as those who are at key points of the incident.

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