Europe

Neo Nazi Golden Dawn trial adjourned for a 2nd time in Greece

Request rejected to be released from prison for 4 party members, including MEP Ioannis Lagos

Magda Panoutsopoulou   | 06.07.2022
Neo Nazi Golden Dawn trial adjourned for a 2nd time in Greece

ATHENS

The trial for convicted Golden Dawn members at the Athens High Appeals Court was adjourned Wednesday until July 26. It is the second adjournment since June 15.

The court will examine a request filed by the once-powerful leader of the group, Nikos Michaloliakos, whose lawyers cited health reasons.

But the court asked the defense to file a recent and detailed certificate regarding Michaloliakos's state of health and an estimated time needed for recovery.

Michaloliakos was admitted to an ICU with the coronavirus and is now at a recovery center.

He, along with his comrades, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

The court rejected earlier requests of four convicted members of the party -- Anastasios Pandazis, Elpidoforos Kalaritis and Giorgos Stambellos -- including Member of European Parliament Ioannis Lagos, to be released from prison and the suspension of their sentences.

First trial and conviction

The Athens Court of Appeals, after a long trial, found the leadership of the far-right party guilty in October 2020 on charges of forming a criminal organization.

The leaders were sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Giorgos Roupakias, who murdered leftist musician Pavlos Fyssas in 2013, was sentenced to life with an additional 10 years for membership in the party.

The court ruled that 38 of the 50 defendants would serve jail time, including 13 MPs, while 12 were given suspended sentences and will remain free with restrictions until their appeal is heard.

The trial ended following more than 450 hearings in 2015 when proceedings began.

Rise and fall

The Golden Dawn was formed in 1980 but was not registered as a political party until 1993.

Its political breakthrough came in the 2012 elections when it received 6.92% of the vote, making it Greece's fifth-largest political group and enabling it to enter parliament for the first time.

It won three seats in the European Parliament after winning 9.4% of the vote in the 2014 European elections.

Its downfall started in 2019 when it was unable to win any seats, leaving it out of parliament.

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