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New CCTV footage in murder of Greek drag queen finds potential new witness

New CCTV footage in murder of Greek drag queen finds potential new witness

a topless man wearing full makeup leaning on a window frame

New CCTV footage of the murder of Greek drag queen and HIV activist, Zak Kostopoulos, has revealed a new witness.

An investigation by Forensic Architecture showed a man in a yellow t-shirt at the scene of Kostopoulos’ murder in Athens in September last year. The investigation went viral and police has since found the man.

Kostopoulos – also known by his drag name, Zackie Oh – was murdered after becoming trapped in a jewellery store. As he tried to get out of the shop two men – one of whom owned the store – violently assaulted him. After paramedics attended the scene, Kostopoulos tried to run away. But police apprehended the badly injured activists and further assaulted him.

A coroner ruled Kostopoulos died of heart failure relating to the injuries he sustained in the assaults. The coroner also found no drugs or alcohol in his system. Local media had portrayed him as a ‘knife-wielding junkie’ who was trying to rob the store.

Who is the man in the yellow t-shirt?

Zoe Kokalou was a friend of Kostopooulos and a member of the Justice4ZakZackie initiative. She told Gay Star News that Forensic Architecture’s investigation was important ‘because it brings out some new facts, or rather raises more questions about the role of certain people in the killing of Zak Kostopoulos’.

‘The role of the man with the yellow t-shirt was a subject of the official investigation, but unfortunately the Greek police failed to identify him for more than six months.’

The new CCTV footage found by Forensic Architecture showed the man near Kostopoulos before his attack. It also showed him talking closely with police and getting very close to the scene while holding a police baton.

Over the weekend police identified and found the man. The 44-year-old said he did not speak to police sooner because he had children whom he wanted to protect.

He also claimed he had the police baton because it had fallen on the ground and he picked it up.

Appeal for more evidence

Four police will face court over his death. Authorities also charged the two men with inflicting lethal harm resulting in death and with the misdemeanour of causing grievous bodily harm.

But Kostopoulos’ friends and family are still trying to find out more information about his death.

‘We will continue on our efforts to find more information about Zak’s killing, since police has made little effort to investigate this brutal murder,’ Kokalou said.

‘To support our investigation, we appealed to any members of the public who had witnessed the attack to share their footage with us, or Forensic Architecture.
‘The police was responsible for investigating his death, but they didn’t.’

Gay Star News reached out to police for comment but have not received a reply.