It has grown from being the third largest political force in Greece in the 2015 to be considered a “criminal organization”. The Greek justice has sentenced that the leaders of the ‘ultra’ Golden Dawn match they must be convicted of being in charge of a criminal organization. Greece awaited with expectation the verdict of one of the most important and lengthy judicial processes of the last decades: the one that has seated the leaders and dozens of members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party for murder by Pavlos Fyssas, musician and leftist activist. The victim was stabbed to death on the night of September 18, 2013, at the age of 34, in front of a cafe in his neighborhood of Keratsini, a western suburb of Athens.
He alleged killer, Yorgos Roupakias, member of Golden Dawn, confessed he crime and he has been sentenced, pending the judge’s sentence. But the key to the verdict was to know if the jury would convict, as has happened, the leadership and party members for the crime of belonging to a criminal organization. Judge Maria Lepenioti, president of the jury tribunal, has ruled that the founder and leader of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, and other prominent members of the formation are guilty. Once the guilty verdict is handed down, the judge must specify the penalties that can range from 5 to 15 years in prison.
The verdict, the culmination of a process that has lasted five years, provoked applause in the courtroom and a explosion of jubilation among the 15,000 people who gathered outside the courthouse which later led to altercations between the police and the protesters.
Greece struck by crisis
At the height of the Greece’s economic and social crisis in 2012, the party took advantage of the discredit of the political class and the deep depression to win votes. At that time, groups of men dressed in black wandered the streets of Athens, hitting his opponents with kicks or iron bars and chanting Blood, honor, Golden Dawn.
At the height of its popularity, in 2015, it became the third largest political party in Greece, garnering more than 370,000 votes in elections. But since the arrest of its leader, it has gradually lost its constituency and now denies the Nazi ideology. In the last legislative elections of July 2019, Golden sunrise did not get any deputy.
Among those convicted are the Independent MEP Yiannis Lagos, who left the party last year, the exporter Ilias Kassidiaris and a dozen leading members of training, who were chosen in the Parliament in 2012 during the boom of Golden sunrise. None of these members were present at court.
Thousands of people summoned by the antifascist movement, the trade unions and the left parties gathered before the court, in the center of Athens, under the slogan They are not innocent Y The people want the Nazis in jail. The police deployed a strong security device.
The shock caused by this murder, in a Greece that was then in the midst of financial crisis, led the authorities to arrest and bring to justice the leaders and many members of the party, accused for years of murders and violence against migrants and left-wing militants, who enjoyed some impunity.
A criminal organization?
Sixty-eight people have been tried. Thirty-nine of them, including its founder and as well as former parliamentarians and party members, were accused of “leadership of a criminal organization” and “belonging” to that organization. These defendants face sentences of between five and fifteen years in prison. This lengthy trial was attended by 153 witnesses and dozens of lawyers.
He prime minister griego, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, I regret the creation of Golden Dawn, in a recently published article. “The experience of the catastrophic passing of this Nazi formation has been traumatic, painful and, unfortunately, very bloody,” Mitsotakis writes in the Editors’ Journal. “In a gray period of confusion, the seed of black propaganda fell and the parasites of the nostalgic Hitler have developed,” he stressed.