ATHENS, GR — (05-03-22) — Two men have been convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison each for killing prominent LGBT activist Zacharias Kostopoulos in Athens in 2018. A court in Athens found the convicted killers, aged 59 and 77, guilty of beating and inflicting serious injuries that caused the 33-year-old’s death. They were each given a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
The killing of LGBT activist Zacharias Kostopoulos who was also known as “Zak” or “Zackie Oh”, generated widespread condemnation in Greece. The Greek-American national was severely beaten by two men in September 2018.
The convicted killers claimed the Greek LGBT activist attempted to rob a jewelry store that one of the two owned. Kostopoulos managed to escape from the shop through a broken window but he was beaten by the men and passers-by on the street outside.
Viral videos on social media showed Kostopoulos being handcuffed by police as he bled on the pavement. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
LGBT communities in Greece argued that Kostopoulos’ death was a textbook case of a “hate crime”.
Amnesty International had described Kostopooulus’ death as a “lynching” and “murder”. They also criticized the police officers’ use of violence.
While the two men were convicted on Tuesday, the four police officers involved in the arrest of Kostopoulos were acquitted of “grievous bodily harm leading to death,” prompting angry shouts of “shame” from human rights activists.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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