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Two men acquitted of Christopher Hatzis manslaughter

Two of the four men jailed over the death of an Adelaide teenager in a late-night brawl have been acquitted of manslaughter.


Christopher Hatzis, 19, (pictured) was repeatedly stabbed during a fight outside a nightclub in Light Square in August 2012.


Hatzis suffered 14 stab wounds and died despite emergency surgery.


26-year-old David Zefi, 22-year-old Rrok Jakaj, 23-year-old Dario Stakaj, and a man who was a youth at the time of the brawl were acquitted of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.


During the original trial, the Supreme Court heard Zefi repeatedly stabbed Mr Hatzis, while Jakaj, Stakaj, and the youth held him down and kicked and punched him.


South Australia's Court of Criminal Appeal has now quashed the manslaughter convictions for Mr Stakaj and the man who was a youth at the time.


The court found that while they were present at the brawl, the prosecution did not prove they took part in the final assault on Mr Hatzis.


Chief Justice Chris Kourakis, Justice Malcolm Blue and Justice David Lovell found, 'The prosecution proved no more than that he was present in Light Square and was actively interested in the events which were occurring there'.


The court also found evidence that Mr Stakaj stood next to a car, parked in Light Square and driven by the youth, shortly before the youth was seen to 'handle an object that looked like a knife' was circumstantial and tenuous.


Mr Stakaj had been serving a five-year, five-month sentence, while the youth served a three-year term in youth detention.


The Court of Criminal Appeal also ruled to reduce Jakaj's sentence from five years and three months to just under four years with a non-parole period of two years and nine months.


The court dismissed an appeal by Zefi to reduce his sentence.