A forensic report on a 33-year-old LGBTQ activist and performer who died last Friday after being beaten for allegedly trying to rob a jewelry store in central Athens was inconclusive as to the precise cause of death.
Two coroners and a technical advisor appointed by the family of Zak Kostopoulos concluded that the body did not bear injuries that would cause death and they are now expecting the results of the histological and toxicological exams to shed light on the case.
“The conclusion of the autopsy, on which we and the family's technical adviser agree on, is that the cause of death is undetermined, pending laboratory test and following the macroscopic exclusion fatal injuries,” Nikos Kalogrias, one of the coroners, said.
“[The body] did not bear injuries that justify death. He has some bruises across his body – small injuries which alone do not cause death – so we continue with further laboratory examinations,” he added.
The incident occurred last Friday morning on Gladstonos Street near Omonia Square. The victim allegedly entered the empty jewelry store and panicked when he was locked inside. Initial reports claimed Kostopoulos was trying to rob the store, but others said he was trying to avoid a brawl that had started nearby.
Footage from CCTV cameras across the street published in media show the victim stumbling while trying to pick up a fire extinguisher to break the glass door. He then tried to break a street-level display window on the storefront. The store owner was alerted to the incident and returned to his store.
The camera footage shows two men, one of whom is reportedly the store owner, kicking him repeatedly in the head as he crawls through the broken glass out into the street. One of the dozen bystanders called an ambulance and police.
A separate video that emerged showed the victim attempting to escape after receiving first aid by paramedics, only to trip over a nearby table. It also showed a policeman beating him again as Kostopoulos is already lying on the ground.
According to police on Saturday, Kostopoulos died on the way to hospital.
The store owner was charged with manslaughter on Saturday while police are searching for the second man that appears to be kicking the victim.