Father of murdered American Bakari Henderson testifies in Patra court


An appeals court in the city of Patra heard a testimony from Filbert Henderson on Wednesday, father of US citizen Bakari Henderson, who was beaten to death by a mob at Laganas, Zakynthos island, in July 2017.

This was the first in a series of fresh witness testimonies that will be heard in coming weeks, when the court resumes on March 11.

The parents of murdered American Bakari Henderson have returned  to Greece for the retrial of the seven Serbian tourists who beat their son to death.

During an interview with CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King two weeks ago, parents, Jill and Phil Henderson confirmed they were going to Greece with the hope that the re-trial of their son’s murder will bring about the justice they were denied in the first trial.

In 2017, their son, a 22-year-old college graduate was holiday in Greece, partying in Laganas on the island of Zakynthos when he got into a violent altercation with a group of men who took offence to him taking a selfie with a women.

“There are so many Serbs in this bar and your taking a selfie with the black guy” said one of the assailants it was alleged. What ensued was a violent alternation which spilt on to the street where Henderson was savagely beaten by several men.

According to the indictment in the first trial, the eight assailants, all Serbians, assaulted Henderson with 33 blows, including kicks and punches to his head, neck and torso while one of them hit him with brass knuckles.

“There are already hints of strong anti-American sentiment among the Serbians involved,” said at the time, Andreas Patsis a Greek lawyer retained by the Henderson family in the original trial, adding that “despite there being no provocation, the Serbs attacked Bakari and focused only on him, an African-American.”

All men were found guilty in 2018 of deadly assault but cleared of murder charges, CBS News reported. They received a sentence of five to 15 years in prison.

The Henderson’s believe race played a role in the assailants being found guilt of ‘deadly assault’ instead of ‘murder’.

“I don’t think they view us, Black people, the same as they view white people over there. …They treated him [in the trial and the verdict] like he was less than a man,” Filbert Henderson said.

“I hope this time, they view and treat Bakari like the child of God and the human that he is.” said Jill Henderson in the hope the re-trial will give the family the justice they have been longing for.