The Greek court on Wednesday labeled the Golden Dawn political party a criminal organization and convicted leaders of the far-right party for forming and running it.
Murder of rapper sparked lawsuit
Party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos and other members of the party leadership can be jailed for up to fifteen years for leading the criminal organization.
Thousands of people had gathered at the court in Athens. After the court’s verdict, cheers were heard in the streets around the court. Later riots, in which the police had to deploy a water cannon and tear gas.
Golden Dawn won 18 of the 300 seats in the Greek parliament at the height of the financial crisis in the 2015 elections, making it the country’s third party.
In 2014, the party’s leaders were prosecuted for leading a criminal organization and violating gun laws. The prosecutor describes the Golden Dawn as a hierarchical, criminal organization “that wants to propagate its political ideas and theories through violence”.
Thousands of people had gathered at the court. (Photo: ANP)
A total of 68 (former) politicians and other members of Gouden Dageraad were tried. Charges against them range from attempted murder, illegal possession of weapons to violence against immigrants and left-wing activists. The punishments they will receive have not yet been announced.
The immediate cause for the trial was the murder of left-wing rapper Pavlos Fyssas in 2013. The 34-year-old victim was hunted by a group of neo-Nazis and stabbed to death in front of a cafe.
The perpetrator, Yorgos Roupakias, was found guilty of the murder on Wednesday and could potentially receive life imprisonment.