The person who beat a Greek LGBTQ+ activist to death walks free after two months in prison

Zak Kostopoulos

A man convicted of beating Greek LGBTQ+ activist Zak Kostopoulos to death has walked free after two months in prison.

Estate agent Thanassis Hortarias was jailed in May on charges over the death of the 33-year-old HIV-positive LGBTQ+ activist, also known by his drag name Zackie Oh.

He was convicted of “injury resulting in death”, rather than murder and was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 10 years.

However, he has now been released on parole after his lawyers won a bid to have his sentence suspended.

Kostopoulos was beaten to death in a central Athens jewellery shop on 21 September 2018.

The case was initially closed after Kostopoulos was painted as a drug addict attempting to rob the jewellery shop, but the truth came to light when video footage of the attack was revealed.

As he desperately tried to escape, attempting to crawl towards the door, Kostopoulos was relentlessly beaten by shop owner Spyros Dimopoulos and Hortarias.

When police arrived on the scene, the brutality continued. Officers violently arrested a severely injured Kostopoulos, and shortly afterwards, the activist was pronounced dead.

Anny Paparousou, a lawyer representing Kostopoulos’ family, previously said of the video footage:

“He is only half alive, but they cuff him from behind, making any attempt at resuscitation impossible. It’s hard not to conclude that this was a hate crime.”

Dimopoulos, Hortarias, and four police officers were charged with Kostopoulos’ death, but all four were later acquitted and walked free.

In May this year, Dimopoulos and Hortarias were convicted and sentenced. It was agreed that 77-year-old Dimopoulos would serve his sentence at home because of his age.

Now that Hortarias has walked free, no one responsible for Kostopoulos’ death remains in prison.