Greek Prosecutor Orders Retrial in Killing of US Tourist

FILE - Husband and with Phil and Jill Henderson, parents of Bakari Henderson, inside the court house in Patras, Greece, on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Giannis Androutsopoulos)

With no double jeopardy law in Greece, a prosecutor unhappy with lenient sentences given six men in the killing of an American tourist in 2017 on the island of Zakynthos as well as a seventh man who had been acquitted so all can be charged with murder.

The six had been convicted only of assault despite the death of Bakari Henderson, 22, a recent University of Texas graduate who had been in Greece on a photo shoot for a clothing line when he ran into an altercation in a bar with a group of men who objected to a Serbian woman taking a selfie with an African-American instead of them.

The six men — five Serbian nationals and a British man of Serbian origin — were jailed from five to 15 years last week after being found guilty of deadly assault. The prosecutor ordered the retrial of the six men for murder by a more senior panel of judges. The seventh man who had been cleared is Greek.

Henderson’s family, who were in court in the Greek city of Patra, decried the sentences as injustice and blistered the Greek judicial system for what they said was going soft on the men responsible for their son’s killing, which was captured on surveillance video.

The verdict in the July, 2017 death of 22-year-old Bakari Henderson who was beaten to death on the notorious Greek island of Zakynthos, where violence frequently runs wild in the summer with foreign hooligans, shocked his family who said it didn’t bring justice or closure.

Two of three others also charged had already fled back to Serbia after being released. The lawyers for Henderson’s family also for the sentences for those convicted to be appealed which is allowable under Greek law where a prosecutor can return a case to court.

His mother Jill Henderson said ahead of the court session that she and her husband Phil were, “just hopeful that justice will be served, and that all defendants will get life sentences.”

After the sentencing, Phil Henderson told CBS News outside the court that he, “can’t understand, a man’s life here in Greece doesn’t mean anything.”

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

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