Executives of the far-right Greek party Golden Dawn were found guilty on Wednesday of belonging to a criminal organization by the Athens Court of Appeal, after five years of proceedings.
Nikos Mihaloliakos, its leader, and several dozen of its members were arrested after the death of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, killed in 2013 by an activist of the movement. The party, which denies any criminal activity, claims to be the victim of a witch hunt.
Golden Dawn, a xenophobic party that took advantage of the economic crisis and the draconian austerity measures implemented to get out of it, entered Parliament in 2012, but lost all its seats in the legislative elections of summer 2019 At the height of the crisis, it was the third political party in terms of popularity.
Yiorgos Roupakias, who was on trial for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, was found guilty.
A huge crowd gathered in front of the court before the verdict and the police had to use tear gas, after throwing Molotov cocktails.
Nazis in prison, could we read on one of the banners held up by the demonstrators.
A total of 65 people, including 18 former Golden Dawn deputies, were prosecuted for belonging to a criminal organization.
Several dozen other party members and supporters face charges ranging from murder to perjury, assault on immigrants and left-wing activists.
The human rights movement Amnesty International welcomed Wednesday's verdict.
Charges against leaders and members of Golden Dawn, including the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, reveal a rift that exists not only in Greece, but across Europe and beyond, lamented Nils Muiznieks, its director for Europe.
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