The leader of the Golden Dawn among members and sympathizers of the fascist party sentenced to prison after a seminal trial.
The leaders of Greece’s fascist Golden Dawn party were sentenced to prison on Wednesday for leading a criminal gang linked to hate crimes.
Presiding judge Maria Lepenioti sentenced six former lawmakers, including the leader of the Golden Dawn, Nikos Mihaloliakos, a 62-year-old mathematician and Holocaust denier, to a prison sentence of 13 years at the Athens Criminal Court.
The court sentenced Golden Dawn member Yiorgos Roupakias to life imprisonment for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, an anti-fascist rapper, and 10 years in prison for belonging to a criminal organization.
Golden Dawn, founded in the 1980s and once the third largest political party in Greece, first stepped in 2012 at the height of an economic crisis on a platform against immigrants, capitalizing on public anger over painful austerity measures and whatever as a corrupt and leisurely political establishment seen.
Other former lawmakers have been sentenced to five to seven years in prison for membership of a criminal organization. The court will decide later this week whether any of the sentences can be suspended.
Golden Dawn’s top figures were arrested in 2013 after the Fyssas assassination sparked protests across Greece and government crackdown on the party.
The police found unlicensed weapons and Nazi flags in the houses of party members.
A total of 68 people, including the entire Golden Dawn leadership, were charged with four crimes.
Last week when Golden Dawn was found guilty, thousands of anti-racist protesters celebrated the landmark verdict.
“Pavlos, you did it!” The rapper’s mother, Magda, yelled in front of the court after the verdict was pronounced and raised her hands in triumph.
She has attended most of the 453 sessions of the hearing and was back in court on Wednesday.
“The court simply upheld yesterday’s recommendation by the public prosecutor’s office. It neither brightened them up nor made them heavier, except in the case of the murderer (Roupakias) ”, reported John Psaropoulos of Al Jazeera in Athens.
“Not only does he receive a life sentence for murder, but an additional 10 years for related crimes such as gun ownership.
“The killer is convicted of crime and murder, but the six leading MPs convicted of running a criminal organization are far more important. It is essentially a condemnation of the party and the apparatus. “
Magda and Irini Fyssa – mother and sister of the anti-racist Greek rapper Pavlos Fyssas, who was killed in 2013 by Giorgos Roupakias, the supporter of the Golden Dawn – are taking part in the trial of leaders and members of the far-right party, which has been declared a criminal organization by one Court in Athens, Greece [Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters]