Left Menu
Development News Edition

Greek court rules far-right Golden Dawn leaders ran a crime group

Golden Dawn entered parliament for the first time in 2012 on the back of an anti-austerity and anti-immigrant agenda, becoming Greece's third-most popular party at the peak of its worst financial crisis since World War Two. But the killing of 34-year old leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a party supporter in 2013 prompted a crackdown that led prosecutors to arrest and investigate Golden Dawn leaders and lawmakers over a series of crimes.

Reuters | Updated: 07-10-2020 15:18 IST | Created: 07-10-2020 15:18 IST
Greek court rules far-right Golden Dawn leaders ran a crime group

Leaders of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn, the country's third most popular party in parliament during the debt crisis, were guilty of running a criminal group, a Greek appeals court ruled on Wednesday. Golden Dawn entered parliament for the first time in 2012 on the back of an anti-austerity and anti-immigrant agenda, becoming Greece's third-most popular party at the peak of its worst financial crisis since World War Two.

But the killing of 34-year old leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a party supporter in 2013 prompted a crackdown that led prosecutors to arrest and investigate Golden Dawn leaders and lawmakers over a series of crimes. Earlier on Wednesday, the court found Golden Dawn sympathiser Yiorgos Roupakias guilty of killing Fyssas.

Greek police fired teargas into crowds gathered outside the courthouse after fringe elements in the crowd hurled petrol bombs at police, according to Reuters witnesses. It was the first time that elected politicians had been jailed in Greece since a military coup in 1967. Golden Dawn failed to win a single parliamentary seat in last year's parliamentary election that brought the conservative New Democracy party to power.

Prosecutors had charged 65 people, including 18 former Golden Dawn lawmakers with being members of a criminal group. Their trial started in April 2015. At the time, the party said it was the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt. Dozens of others on trial, party members and alleged associates, face convictions on charges that range from murder to perjury, linked to a spate of violent attacks on immigrants and left-wing activists.

Wednesday's verdict now sets the stage for the high-profile case to proceed with the court looking into individual charges for the murder of rapper Fyssas and other violent attacks. Tens of thousands rallied outside the heavily policed appeals court area, holding banners reading "Fascism, Never Again" and "Freedom for the People, Death to Fascism".

"We must send a message to the younger generations, a message against fascism," said 69-year old Sophia. "It's our duty to democracy to be here today, to show we are standing up against such criminal actions." Human rights group Amnesty International, which helped organise a network to record racist violence in Greece, said Wednesday's verdict would boost efforts to fight hate crimes.

"The accusations against the leaders and members of Golden Dawn, including the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, expose a fissure that exists not just within Greece but across Europe and beyond," said Nils Muiznieks, Europe director at Amnesty.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

NBA players discuss social justice with pope at Vatican

Five NBA players were part of a delegation that met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday to discuss social justice. Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver were joined by NBA players union exe...

Singapore, Saudi companies push Indian solar tariffs to record low

The Indian units of Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries Ltd and Saudi Arabia-based Aljomaih Holding Co won government auctions to sell solar power for a record low of 2 rupees 0.0270 per kilo watt hour kWh, sources said.The tariff represent...

Tottenham loses more than $85M, debt climbs due to pandemic

Premier League leader Tottenham has reported annual losses of 63.9 million pounds 85.4 million due to the coronavirus pandemic and fans being shut out of stadiums. We are currently in the midst of one of the most challenging times ever expe...

Sport-England to allow 4,000 fans at elite events in lowest-risk areas

Up to 4,000 spectators will be allowed to attend outdoor elite sports events in lowest-risk tier one areas of England when a month-long national lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 is lifted on Dec. 2, the British government said on ...

Give Feedback