10252021

Greek court postpones retrial of 7 suspects in American tourist’s beating death


A Greek court has postponed the retrial of seven suspects in the 2017 fatal beating of a 22-year-old American tourist on an island resort in the western port town of Patras.

The decision to suspend the proceedings until Jan. 13 was made to allow the attorney recently hired by the victim’s family to get acquainted with the case of Baraki Henderson, a native of Texas.

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Henderson died in July 2017 after being beaten in the street following an argument in a bar in the Laganas resort area on the island of Zakynthos. While it was unclear how the fight started, reports have said he was seen taking a photo with a woman shortly before the mob of men attacked.

Surveillance footage shows Henderson running down the sidewalk and being pursued. One man tackled him, throwing him onto a parked car before others joined in the beating.

Greek police officers escorted two of the seven suspects allegedly involved in the fatal beating of Henderson as they disembarked a police bus at a court house in Patras city on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Giannis Androutsopoulos)

Six of the men – five Serbian nationals and a British man of Serbian origin – had been convicted by a first instance court last year and sentenced to between five and 15 years in prison, but four have since been released. The seventh defendant, a Greek barman, had been acquitted.

A public prosecutor had ordered the retrial of all seven, deeming the sentences too lenient. The retrial is seeking to convict some or all of the defendants of murder.

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While uncommon, retrials in Greece can be granted at the discretion of prosecutors, following a request from family members of a victim, Greek journalist Marianna Kakaounaki told the Austin American-Statesman.

In the U.S., double jeopardy laws would prevent the accused from being tried twice for the same crime following an acquittal or conviction.

Phil and Jill Henderson, parents of Bakari Henderson, arrived at the court in Patras city, Greece, on Wednesday ahead of the expected retrial. (AP Photo/Andreas Alexopoulos)

Phil and Jill Henderson, parents of Bakari Henderson, arrived at the court in Patras city, Greece, on Wednesday ahead of the expected retrial. (AP Photo/Andreas Alexopoulos)

Henderson had graduated from the University of Arizona in May 2017 with a degree in business administration.

He had traveled to Greece to work on a photo shoot for the launch of his clothing line. His family launched it last November as a way to fulfill his dream.

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“We’re trying to make his vision come alive,” Henderson’s mother, Jill, told the Statesman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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