Trial over death of gay activist gets underway

Trial over death of gay activist gets underway

The trial over the death of 33-year-old LGBTQI activist Zak Kostopoulos in central Athens in September 2018 began on Wednesday with the testimonies of his mother and brother.

Kostopoulos was killed after a brutal assault outside a jewellery store in which he had entered under unclear circumstances. Six people, the jewellery store owners and four police officers, are on trial for his death. The trial was suspended over a year ago due to the coronavirus measures.

In her testimony, Zak’s mother, Eleni Kostopoulou, stated that there is no excuse for the murder of a fellow human being, even if he were robbing the store. She stressed that the defendants were not acting in self-defense and that there was no reason to beat her son to death.  

Nikos Kostopoulos, Zak’s brother, revealed that in his opinion there was a homophobic motive to the crime as he stated his belief that the defendants did not believe Zak deserved to live due to his appearance. He said his brother often wore flamboyant clothing and colours, including makeup and painted nails.

All six defendants, including the four police officers who arrived on the scene, are charged with fatal bodily harm. They allege they mistook Kostopoulos for a robber.

The court went into recess until November 9.

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