Greece: Golden Dawn found guilty of running criminal organisation


After a trial that spanned over five years, members of the fascist group found guilty of several crimes, including murder.

The Golden Dawn group, a self-proclaimed fascist entity with its origins in the 1980s, has been found guilty of several crimes by a court in Athens, including running a criminal organisation.

Another prominent case involved Golden Dawn supporter Giorgos Roupakias who had confessed to murdering anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, or “Killah P”, stabbing the 34-year-old to death just after midnight on September 18, 2013, in Athens. Roupakias was found guilty and faces a life sentence.

“Pavlos, you did it!” the rapper’s mother Magda shouted outside the courthouse after the verdict was announced, her hands raised in triumph. She had attended most of the hearings 453 sessions.

A panel of three judges at a court of appeals in the Greek capital delivered their verdict on Wednesday, concluding a trial that has lasted five and a half years.

More than 10,000 anti-racism protesters outside the court, who had been demanding a guilty verdict for hours before the result was announced, celebrated when the judges revealed their decision.

But police were quick to release tear gas and use water cannon to disperse crowds. Witnesses said people were seen gasping as the tear gas filled the air.

Petros Konstantinou, who heads Keefra, an anti-racism organisation, told Al Jazeera: “This is a great anti-fascist victory. I think we won. They should all go to prison immediately.”

A total 68 had been on trial, including the entire Golden Dawn leadership, accused of four crimes.

Reading out the verdict, presiding judge Maria Lepenioti said Golden Dawn founder and leader Nikos Michaloliakos and other senior members were guilty of running a criminal organisation.

Golden Dawn members were also found guilty of attacking Communist trade unionists and their leader Sotiris Poulikogiannis the same month and in the attempted murder of Egyptian immigrant fisherman Abouzid Embarak in his home in June 2012.

Golden Dawn was at its political peak at the time of Fyssas’s murder, having won 18 seats in the 300-seat parliament in 2012 amid anger over a financial crisis in Greece that discredited mainstream political parties.

Three years later, it also sent three deputies to the European parliament in another strong showing.

But the investigation took its toll, causing a number of senior members to defect. In the last election in 2019, the party failed to win a single seat.

Over a few days in March, the island once nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize became the epicentre of far-right violence.

Reporter Dimitris Psarras has spent decades investigating one of Greece’s most violent far-right groups, Golden Dawn.

After a years-long trial, an Athens court will decide the future of a notorious neo-Nazi group founded in the 1980s.


Golden Dawn, Greece, Nazism, Neo-Nazism

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