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#Justice4Zak: Two men sentenced to 10 years each for the killing of Zak Kostopoulos

The owner of a jewelry shop and of a real estate office were found guilty of causing fatal bodily harm in the killing of gay rights activist 33-year-old Zak Kostopoulos in downtown Athens on September 21, 2018.

The two men were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each, without parole.

The 59-year-old real estate agent was lead to prison, while the prosecutor had proposed that the 77-year-old jewelry shop owner spends his sentence at home due to his age.

The prosecutor proposed also that no mitigation should be granted to the two convicts. During his speech, he said that  both the jeweler and the broker did not show any remorse in their testimonies, but, on the contrary they seemed to have not realized the criminal value of their act.

Furthermore, the Mixed Jury Court of Appeal in Athens found that the four police officers facing charges for their involvement in the case were found innocent by a split decision.

A video from a cellphone and security cameras on September 18, showed both convicts beating Zak Kostopoulos who smashed the jewelry shop window to escape the assault and fell on the sidewalk where he was being repeatedly kicked.

Several police officers rushed to the scene and pictures showed four of them beating the severely injured and most probably dying Zak Kostopoulos.

Zak died most probably in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

First media reports of the incident claimed that Zak Kostopoulos was a drug addict who entered the jewerly shop to steal but soon the truth was out that the victim was the well-known LGBT activist.

There was unrest both within the courtroom as well as outside the building where people had gathered after the decision was made public.

Many decried the verdict including the family of Kostopoulos and Magda Fyssa, the mother of murdered rapper Pavlos Fyssas.

When the crowd shouted “Murderers!” and slogans, the presiding judge reportedly emptied the room, threatening that anyone who did not comply would be arrested for disorderly conduct.

Kostopoulos’ father commented on the verdict “This rule of law is a joke.”

The victims’ grandmother stated “Have mercy! We expected something better.”

The family and supporters were hoping that the two men are found guilty of homicide.

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