Following the coroner’s report proving that LGBTQI activist Zacharias (Zak) Kostopoulos’ cause of death was an ischemic attack due to the injuries he sustained rather than the influence of legal or illegal substances of which he was found clear (a minimal amount of alcohol was found in his system at the time of death), Police are starting a new investigation into his death.
Greek Police (ELAS) launched a sworn administrative inquiry (EDE) on Wednesday into the role of its motorcycle-riding unit DIAS over their actions during the incident as Kostopoulos died from injuries caused by broken glass and kicks to his head and neck.
In fact a second coroner also called in to investigate the controversial circumstances that led to Kostopoulos’ passing in September ruled that he had a fatal heart attack as a result of the brutal beating he received and the stress that caused ischemic changes and and ultimately, a myocardial infarction.
Kostopoulos, 33, was also HIV positive and advocated for the community’s rights, he was also a blogger and a performer.
All this time his family, friends, colleagues and fellow activists have been insisting the allegations that he was a petty thief and a junkie were untrue and fabricated and that the only reason why he would enter the jewellery shop he was accused of breaking into would have been to protect himself.
Police will be investigating further into video footage showing the deceased breaking out of a locked-down jewelry shop’s glass-front and then receiving repeated kicks by the owner and another man. An inquiry will also look into CCTV footage of men seen bullying Kostopoulos at a nearby cafe where he was when the altercations begun.
Meanwhile, nine DIAS officers who arrived at the scene to arrest him have been temporarily transferred until the investigation is concluded and they are facing charges for rough handling.
Tuesday’s 10-page report also confirmed that the two men (the jewellery shop and another shop owner seen hitting the deceased) are currently being charged with inflicting lethal harm resulting in death and with the misdemeanour of causing grievous bodily harm.
The coroners’ report on the tragic death of Zak Kostopoulos “sheds light on the case, and is a powerful rebuttal over all suspicions of a cover-up, over bigotry and over efforts to defame a man who is no longer alive. Justice will prevail,” Citizen Protection Minister Olga Gerovassili told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency in a brief statement.