Greece: leader of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn sentenced to 13 years in prison

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The leader of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party Nikos Michaloliakos, denialist and admirer of National Socialism, was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison by the Athens Criminal Court.

The leader of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn Nikos Michaloliakos, denier and admirer of National Socialism, was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison by the Criminal Court of Athens, which found him guilty of having led a “criminal organization”.

Among the six other paramilitary party executives, MEP Ioannis Lagos, a former member of Golden Dawn, also receives 13 years in prison. His parliamentary immunity must be lifted by the European Parliament, at the request of Greece, once an arrest warrant has been issued. The criminal court also followed the prosecutor’s requisitions by sentencing to 13 years in prison the former party spokesperson Ilias Kassidiaris and the deputy Christos Pappas, right-hand man of Michaloliakos.

She imposed the same sentence on two other party leaders found guilty of “leading a criminal organization”: former MPs Ilias Panagiotaros and Georgios Germenis. Only Artemis Matthaiopoulos, the ex-son-in-law of Michaloliakos, was sentenced to ten years in prison below the requisitions of the prosecutor. Unsurprisingly, Golden Dawn activist Yorgos Roupakias, the murderer of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The murder of the left-wing activist on the night of September 18, 2013, shocked Greece in the midst of the financial crisis and forced the authorities to prosecute the neo-Nazi party, responsible for murders and violence against migrants and left-wing activists since. the 1990s, but which had until then benefited from virtual impunity.

On Monday, the Athens Criminal Court rejected all mitigating circumstances that could ease the prison sentences incurred by the leaders of the neo-Nazi party.

After five and a half years of hearings, the court unanimously qualified last week the paramilitary party as a “criminal organization”, a verdict described as “historic” by the President of the Republic and a whole fringe of the Greek political class.

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