A jewelry store owner and his neighbor, a real estate agency owner, were found guilty of causing fatal injuries in the murder of 33-year-old gay rights activist Zach Kostopoulos in downtown Athens on September 21, 2018.
Each of them was sentenced to 10 years in prison without the right to parole, which is a very severe punishment for such a controversial case. A 59-year-old real estate agent was jailed, a 77-year-old jewelry store owner was offered house arrest by a prosecutor due to his age.
The prosecutor persuaded the court not to grant leniency to both convicts. During his speech, he said that both the jeweler and the broker did not show remorse in their testimony, but on the contrary, as if they were not aware of the criminal component of their act.
The riots took place both in the courtroom and outside the building, where people gathered after the announcement of the decision. Many condemned the verdict, including the Kostopoulos family and Magda Fissa, the mother of murdered rapper Pavlos Fissas, who demanded that everyone be beheaded. members of Chrysi Avgi, guilty, in her opinion, of the murder of her son.
As the crowd yelled “Murderers!” and slogans, the presiding judge, as reported, demanded that the courtroom be vacated, threatening that anyone who did not comply would be arrested for disorderly conduct. Kostopoulos’ father commented on the verdict: “This rule of law is a joke.” The victim’s grandmother said, “Have mercy! We expected something better.”
In addition, the Mixed Jury Court of Appeal in Athens ruled separate decisionthat four police officers, who were also charged with involvement in the murder, were found not guilty.
Frames from the video. They show that the men beat Zack, not allowing him to leave the store. In the hands of the robber is a large piece of glass, with which he tries to fight back.
On the video from a mobile phone and CCTV cameras on September 18, it can be seen how both convicts were kicked Zach Kostopoulos, who shortly before broke into a jewelry store and stole one of the jewelry. After pressing the emergency button, the door to the store was locked. Panicked and trying to escape, Zak smashed a jewelry store window and tried to get out of the store to the street, and the store owner and his neighbor, who came to the rescue, kicked the robber, preventing him from leaving the premises until the police arrived.
The police officers, who arrived at the call, saw an inadequate and bloody young man with a large piece of glass in his hands, knocked out the glass from his hands with batons and immobilized Kostopoulos. The ambulance arrived and took away the would-be robber, but could not (or did not really try) to save him, as a result of which Zach Kostopoulos died, as they say in the conclusion of a forensic expertfrom heart failure caused by blood loss and pain shock.
It would seem that the usual crime story of a big city received a new color when it turned out that Zach Kostopoulos was a gay activist. And after almost 2 months of waiting for a medical report, it turned out that the person who was registered as a drug addict did not even have a trace of drugs in his blood, although, according to numerous witnesses to the incident, he behaved like a drug addict during the withdrawal period (which also seen in later deleted videos).
AT tens of thousands of colleagues rose in defense of the gay activist, as well as anarchists, who along the way smashed many shops and threw a couple of dozen Molotov cocktails at the police. Dozens of influential human rights organizations and the Speaker of the Parliament personally addressed the Greek government with a demand to condemn the “guilty”. And as heavy artillery, the ambassadors of 14 countries of Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia joined the appeal demanding the conviction of the perpetrators. In fact, they tried to make a European version of Floyd out of Kostopoulos.
Read more about the Zach Kostopoulos case in our selection of link.
Note to the photo on the poster in the announcement of the publication. There is an inscription on the poster: forward πούστης (pi * ry), we will destroy all Greek hard workers (μάγκες). A very clear direction of the message from the LGBT community to straight people.
In modern Greek, manga has become synonymous with “tough guy, swaggering” or (in dialogue) just “dude”. Depending on the context, it can have a more negative connotation (“hooligan, henchman, bully”) or more positive (“brave, cunning person”) connotation.