Greek Cop Seen Hitting LGBTQ Activist Who Died Faces Court

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS – A Greek police officer seen on a surveillance video hitting LGBTQ activist Zak Kostopoulos, who later died after an assault that included two others, was due to appear before an examining magistrate on Dec. 3 to charges of inflicting fatal bodily harm.

The incident with Kostopoulos occurred Sept. 21 in Omonia Square after he had gone into a jewelry store in what supporters said was an attempt to escape people after him. The store owner and another shop owner, saying they thought he was trying to rob the store, kicked him repeatedly in the head and body as he crawled out through a broken display window.

Media reports said arriving police joined in the attack and that the victim was hit at least once as he was motionless on the ground and unable to resist.

An autopsy released in November found he died of a heart attack as a consequence of repeated blunt trauma and that he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Kostopoulos’ family asked for the charges against the two shop owners to be changed from manslaughter to first-degree murder.

The coroners said they also found multiple cuts that were not fatal deriving from blows and kicks to the hands and the legs.