DNA on knife from controversial jewelry store incident linked to dead activist

DNA on knife from controversial jewelry store incident linked to dead activist

Traces of DNA found on a knife bagged as evidence at a jewelry store in downtown Athens last month following a controversial incident have been identified as that of 33-year-old Zak Kostopoulos, the LGBTQ activist who died after being attacked by the store’s owner and another man.

Police said that although DNA found on the knife was a positive match with Kostopoulos’s DNA profile, they were unable to match a partial fingerprint found on its handle.

CCTV footage shows Kostopoulos entering the jewelry store near Omonia Square with what appears to be a knife in his hand before he was trapped inside the premises by the automatic security door and crawled out through a broken ground-floor display window as the store’s owner and another man kicked him in the head.

The store's owner, who had stepped outside at the time of the incident, claimed that Kostopoulos appeared to be under the influence of drugs and had tried to rob the store.

Other witnesses, however, say that the LGBT activist was trying to protect himself after he had come under attack in a separate incident prior to hiding in the jewelry store.

A probe has also been launched into the behavior of a group of police officers who were called in to arrest Kostopoulos after CCTV footage indicated they used unnecessary force on the 33-year-old as he lay on the ground, bleeding.

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