Two men were found guilty on Tuesday of causing fatal bodily harm in the killing of Zak Kostopoulos, a gay rights activist, during an altercation in a jewelry shop in downtown Athens on September 21, 2018. Four police officers facing charges for their involvement in the case were found innocent by a split decision.
The guilty parties are the 77-year-old owner of the jewelry story and a 59-year-old owner of a nearby real estate office. The two men set upon 33-year-old Kostopoulos when he entered the jewelry shop.
More people in the vicinity joined the fray – as seen in security camera and cellphone footage from the incident – after Kostopoulos smashed his way through a display window to get out of the store and away from his assailants, falling onto the sidewalk outside, where he was seen being repeatedly kicked and punched until a group of nine police officers arrived at the scene. Four of the police officers who arrived at the scene were shown in a video hitting him while he was on the ground.
Kostopoulos died shortly after while in police custody.
There was unrest both within the courtroom as well as outside the building where people had gathered after the decision was made public, with many decrying the verdict including the family of Kostopoulos and Magda Fyssa, the mother of murdered rap artist Pavlos Fyssas. The presiding judge emptied the room, threatening that anyone who did not comply would be arrested for disorderly conduct.