Under strict security measures, the trial of the suspects for the murder of US student Bakari Henderson kicked off in the Mixed Jury Court in Patras, West Peloponnese, on Friday morning. lawyers’ attempts to postpone the trial failed, relevant petitions were rejected by the court.
Nine defendants are being tried to either have carried out the fatal strikes that killed the 22-year-old Bakari or they just assisted the slain.
Bakari Henderson was killed outside a bar in Laganas resort on the island of Zakynthos in the early morning hours of 7. July 2017.
He was chased by a group of people and beaten to death, after he attempted to shoot a selfie with waitress of a bar that was run by Serbian nationals.
Six of the defendants are charged with intended murder, one for direct assistance to intended murder and two for attempted murder. For the six the charges are on felony, for the last three for misdemeanor, state ERT TV reported.
Of the six defendants at the court, five are Serbian nationals and one – the barman of the bar – a Greek.
The other three did not appear in court.
Right after the trial began, the lawyer of one defendants submitted a request to have the trial postponed. The lawyer had filed the petition saying the 55-page indictment was written in Cyrillic and not in English. His client has been living in London, UK, he can speak the Serbian language but cannot read and therefore he cannot understand the charges, the lawyer argued .
The session was interrupted, the court decided to reject the petition and continued the trial.
Bakari’s parents, his brother and sister and his grand mother have traveled all the way from Austin, Texas, to attend the trail in hope to find justice for the slain son.
“I have trust in the system and faith in God that justice will be served,” Bakari’s mother Jill Henderson told Greek media before the trial. “I am very anxious because I will see my son’s murderers for the first time, bit I am grateful the trial finally starts” she said.
The trial of the murder of Bakari Henderson is expected to last for quite some time as many witnesses from both sides are to testify before the felonies court.
His parents said that they have not filed for financial compensation but all they want is “a fair trial and heavy punishment for those who took their son’s life.”
The first trial session concluded at 2:30 Friday afternoon and will continue next week, on Sept 27th 2018.
more pictures from the trial here.