|26 January 2024
|1st Mixed Court of Appeals, Athens, room D120A
|The hearing is open to the public without restrictions.
Photojournalists are not allowed to cover the trial.
|Defendants in attendance:
|Athanasios Chortarias, owner of a real estate agency
|Witnesses: Kosmas Kotridis (police officer – DI.AS.), Nikolaos Kalogrias (coroner), Soultana Marianou (coroner)
|Composition of the court:
|President: Alexandra Vasilakakos
Judges: Dimitrios Oikonomou, Ioanna Chatzaki
Jurors: Asimakopoulou, Athanasopoulou, Kotsopoulou, Kourou
Prosecutor: Stylianos Kostarellos
Day 4th – 26 January 2024
The process resumed after 11 a.m. in the courtroom D120A in the 6th Floor of the building.
Examination of witnesses
During the 4th day of the trial, the witnesses Kosmas Kotridis, officer of one of the DI.AS. Police teams that arrived at the scene of the killing after a call for robbery, as well as forensic experts Nikolaos Kalogrias and Soultana Marianou, who signed the autopsy report, testified.
Witness Kosmas Kotridis (police officer – DI.AS.)
Police officer witness Kotridis described that he and his colleagues arrived at the scene when Zacharias Kostopoulos was already on the ground and a first responder was putting a bandage on his head. He said that the victim was injured but that he himself did not see his injuries because his colleagues of the Z team had mainly attended to him. Kotridis claimed that the victim was dangerous because he took a piece of glass from the pavement, but in response to questions from prosecutor St. Kostarellos, the witness admitted that it was a move easily avoided by the first responder. He also said that the victim offered no resistance when he was handcuffed and that he died “three hours later”.
Witness Nikolaos Kalogrias (coroner)
The witness answered a number of questions both from the judges and from the lawyers, in order to explain the elements of the coroners’ report signed by himself and his colleague, Sultana Marianou, who also testified afterwards.
The witness explained in detail that, given the results of the histological and toxicological tests performed, as well as the number of injuries, the victim’s cause of death was an ischemic event caused by all of the multiple injuries, through the mechanism of organic stress. The witness reported from his experience a similar case in a traffic accident, where a person died a short time later, without a specific fatal wound, through the same mechanism.
The defense questioned the witness to support claims that either the death was caused by the antiretroviral treatment, or the ischemic attack had started much earlier than the beating. The witness categorically ruled out both possibilities, stating that “arrhythmia is never a cause of death” and “objectively, fatty liver disease is not a cause of death.”
Witness Soultana Marianou (coroner)
Then Soultana Marianou, also a medical examiner, testified. The witness confirmed the findings, as a co-signer with the previous witness and pointed out that the victim’s body was also X-rayed to detect any non-visible injuries. She also confirmed that the findings regarding fatty liver could not be a cause of death.
Next court dates
After the examination of the witness Marianou, the court adjourned for the next hearing, on 14 February 2024, which will begin at 9:00 a.m. in room D120 A, on the 6th floor of the Athens Court of Appeal.
The dates of the court for February are:
14/02/2024, room D120 A
15/02/2024, room D120 A
20/02/2024, room D120 B
23/02/2024, room D120 B
The full text of our transcript from the courtroom (in Greek) :