The coroner’s report of Zak Kostopoulos, an LGBT+ activist who was beaten to death in September, has been released. Apart from demonstrating that Kostopoulos died as a result of his injuries, the toxicology report proved that there were no drugs in the activist’s system, despite the attempts of Greek police to frame Kostopoulos as a drug addict.
The coroner’s statement reads:
“The cause of death of Zak Kostopoulos was the ischemic type of myocardial lesions, which were a causative link to the multiple lesions the deceased had on various parts of his body.”
Police officers in Athens presented Kostopoulos as a drug dealer who was attempting to rob a jewellery store at the time of his death. However, a video of the attack on Kostopoulos shows a very different account.
The video shows Kostopoulos trapped inside a jewellery store after he got accidentally locked in. He tries to break free by smashing a fire extinguisher against the door before he climbs out a broken window.
Once on the street, two men begin to viciously beat the unarmed Kostopoulos until he loses consciousness in front of a crowd of onlookers. Kostopoulos regained consciousness and tried to run away, but when the police arrived they began beating him again. They then handcuffed an unconscious Kostopoulos, who later died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Kostopoulos’ death prompted an international outcry from human rights groups, with many calling for the police officers to be arrested following their role in the activist’s death. A spokesperson from a protest group in Australia called for action outside the Greek consulate in Melbourne:
“Despite the CCTV footage exposing major flaws in their story the Greek police with the assistance of the news media still persisted in trying to portray Zak’s attackers as helpless store owners trying to protect their property and to frame Zak as a violent, drug-addicted thief, therefore deserving of his death.”
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