Trial of Zak Costopoulos-Witness: He was kicked so hard that his head was shaken backwards

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Trial of Zak Costopoulos-Witness: He was kicked so hard that his head was shaken backwards

“They kicked so hard that the young man’s head was shaking backwards. I shouted at them “stop, you will kill him”. My impression was that they killed him in the wood […]. It was the rage they had. ” This was testified at the trial for the death of Zak Costopoulos, an eyewitness to what happened at noon on September 21, 2018 on the pedestrian street of Gladstonos Street.

The witness, a retired police officer, described in court what she saw from the moment she, passing by the area, hearing noise, approached the crime scene, outside the jewelry store.

The witness saw the store with a shattered shop window and in the shop window “a terrified young man” trying to get out. He also testified that he saw “a gentleman throwing something on the window three or four times” and then together with “another gentleman kicking the window hard”.

The witness also testified: “I approached at a distance of two meters. I saw the first gentleman throw a kick and a large piece of glass fell on the head of the young man who put his hand on his neck. I shouted, “he was beheaded!”. I screamed and closed my eyes. When I opened them, I saw the young man on the sidewalk. These enraged people insulted and beat him. I was shouting. In front of me a gentleman was trying to push them away and I was behind him. I will not forget it […] The young man had his eyes wide open and they were nailed to mine and his lips were trembling. I could not recover for months […] As if he wanted to tell me something. “Help” maybe? He was very close to me. I still remember him. “His face… I…… nothing else”, he said crying.

Answering questions, the retired police officer said that the feeling she got about what was happening in front of her was that she saw “a man being killed in the woods” and that the blows were so strong that “she could have died much faster”.

The witness testified that she did not see the victim holding a knife, a phrase that she repeated with certainty several times in the defense questions, clarifying that she has absolutely no doubt about it. “We later learned that he was holding a knife. “I did not see any knife,” he stressed.

Asked about this, the witness said that she was not able to clarify which of the two accused citizens, the jeweler or the broker, was the one who hit the most and stressed that the kicks were consecutive and strong. “I do not know who was beating the most. He was constantly being kicked. I stayed there because I wanted to protect him until the police came. I felt helpless […] “Even when he was lying down, they beat him,” he said.

The proceedings did not lack tension when the defense attorney of the accused police officers showed during the examination of a young police witness a broken glass corresponding to what he said he was holding the victim after the beatings he received.

This move irritated the Costopoulos family, with the victim’s mother unable to restrain herself: “Of all the bloody windows, did you find this to bring? This is not true. They do not respect us at all! “Shame!” He shouted, leaving the room with the victim’s father and brother.

In his testimony, the witness described the actions of his colleagues as “absolutely necessary” to “restrict” Zak Costopoulos, expressing the opinion that they used reasonable and legal violence until they handcuffed the 33-year-old: “I was told that he took a piece of glass and turned against a police officer and a member of EKAB. I believe that the violence was proportionate to the resistance. He had to be immobilized, disarmed and handcuffed. “I do not know if there was a milder way, I was not there to know the full facts,” he testified.

The technical advisor of the victim’s family, Socrates Tsantiris, also testified today, claiming that some of the blows received by the victim to the head were responsible for the death because they contributed to the ischemic type of myocardial lesions. According to the medical examiner appointed by the Civil Action, the blows that Zak Costopoulos received when he left the window of the jewelry store “I can safely connect them with death”.

Referring to a traumatic hemorrhage in the victim’s brain, Mr. Tsantiris also said that “I believe that the kicks were strong and even if his heart had not stopped he could not go home because he had a stroke. “It was a minor brain injury that could not have been a cause of death yet, but it could have progressed.” Mr. Tsantiris stated that he agrees with the conclusions of the forensic report.

The trial is set to begin on December 7.

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