יוון תמונת ארכיון של תומכי השחר המוזהב מפלגת ימין קיצוני
Golden Dawn supporters in Athens
Photo: AP
Golden Dawn supporters in Athens

Leaders of Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn ran crime group, court rules

More than 15,000 anti-fascist protesters gather outside Athens courtroom for highly charged verdict; party leaders, members and associates convicted over various crimes including murder, attacks on immigrants, left-wing activists

Reuters |
Published: 10.07.20 , 14:50
Leaders of Greece's neo-Nazi 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.
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  • 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.
    יוון תמונת ארכיון של תומכי השחר המוזהב מפלגת ימין קיצונייוון תמונת ארכיון של תומכי השחר המוזהב מפלגת ימין קיצוני
    Golden Dawn supporters in Athens
    (Photo: AP)
    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 sympathizer 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.
    יוון אתונה מגדה פיסאס אחרי ש רוצח בנה הראפר פבלוס פיסאס הורשע משפט השחר המוזהביוון אתונה מגדה פיסאס אחרי ש רוצח בנה הראפר פבלוס פיסאס הורשע משפט השחר המוזהב
    Magda Fyssa, center the mother of slain Greek rapper Pavlos Fyssas
    (Photo: AFP)
    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".
    יוון אתונה מחוץ ל בית המשפט הכרעת דין השחר המוזהב מפלגת ימין קיצונייוון אתונה מחוץ ל בית המשפט הכרעת דין השחר המוזהב מפלגת ימין קיצוני
    Anti-fascist protestors outside the court house in Athens
    (Photo: AFP)
    "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 organize 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.

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