An investigation by Forensic Architecture in which they analysed all of the video evidence surrounding the killing of HIV Activist Zak Kostopoulos has led to the reopening of the investigation.
Forensic Architecture seeks to provide new kinds of evidence for international prosecution teams, political organisations, NGOs and international institutions such as the UN.
Kostopoulos died following a violent attack on the streets of Athens on September 21, 2018.
Initially, mainstream Greek media tried to frame Kostopoulos as a drug addict and thief who died after attempting to break into a jewellery shop, however, eye witness video footage shows the brutal beating of Kostopoulos by two men in the street, while a crowd of people look on.
When police arrived, the beating continued as Kostopoulos was violently arrested. The activist died from his injuries on the way to the hospital.
The Man In The Yellow T-Shirt
In the investigation by Forensic Architecture, question the presence of “the man in the yellow t-shirt” who is prominent at various points in the video timeline.
He can be seen initially with two other men outside a bakery. The identity of the two other men is not known. One of these men hands Zak a bottle of water. When Zak tries to enter the bakery, the man in the yellow t-shirt appears to try and block Zak from entering.
Throughout various other video clips analysed by Forensic Architecture, the man is seen very close to the scene of the attack, telling police about Zak’s injuries and holding a police baton.
During the initial investigation, police were unable to identify this key witness.
Last weekend, police identified and found the man in the yellow t-shirt who said he didn’t speak to police sooner because he had children whom he wanted to protect.
He also said that he had picked up the police baton as it had fallen on the ground.
Appeal For More Information
So far, two men and four police officers have been charged for the death of Zak Kostopoulos.
However, Kostopoulos’ friends and family along with human rights groups are calling for more information about his death.
Earlier this year, Amnesty International outlined their concerns regarding the murder investigation:
“So far, two men and four police officers have been charged for his death. While an investigation is ongoing, many are concerned about flaws and delays in the investigation into his death as well as persistent systemic failings in investigations concerning cases of police violence in Greece.”
Amnesty International’s petition makes reference to the disturbing dissemination of Kostopoulos’ death into Greece’s news outlets:
“Zak’s killing and the initial reporting of the case, filled with stigmatising remarks and reproduction of fake news, revealed the deep prejudice that exists in parts of society. This must not be tolerated.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Forensic Architecture.
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