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Prosecutor makes closing arguments in Zak Kostopoulos death trial

Prosecutor makes closing arguments in Zak Kostopoulos death trial

The prosecutor in the trial over the 2018 beating death of Greek-American gay rights activist Zak Kostopoulos on Wednesday sought the exoneration of four police officers and guilty verdicts for two local businessmen.

In his closing arguments, prosecutor Sotiris Bougioukos pointed to expert evidence and witness testimonies that he said showed the element of malice in the downtown Athens attack on the 33-year-old by the owner of a jewelry store Kostopoulos entered for unknown reasons while in an agitated state on the morning of September 21, 2018, and the owner of a nearby real estate office.

The two businessmen, he argued, were acting in a vengeful way when they continued to punch and kick the 33-year-old even as he crawled through a broken display window after the initial assault, which was allegedly prompted by the belief that he was trying to rob the jewelry store.

“They wanted to hurt him,” he said, recommending that they be found guilty of deadly use of physical force.

Bougioukos added that their actions contributed to Kostopoulos’ death, which a medical examiner said was caused by a heart attack induced by massive trauma.

With regards to the four police officers accused of using excessive force when trying to arrest Kostopoulos, the prosecutor argued that they were acting by the book in trying to restrain the 33-year-old, who was clutching a piece of broken glass.