After the murder of a left-wing musician, the Greek public prosecutor had the Golden Dawn in his sights: 38 suspects have now been convicted.
Much of the leadership of the neo-Nazi Greek Golden Dawn is sent to prison. A court in Athens decided this on Thursday afternoon in the proceedings surrounding the extreme right-wing organization, reported the semi-state Greek news agency ANA-MPA.
Earlier it had been discussed a detention proposed by the public prosecutor; there is no risk of fleeing and the party has already been dissolved, he said. In addition, the procedure goes to the next instance. However, the court decided otherwise.
Party founder convicted two weeks ago
According to the decision, a total of 38 of the 50 convicts are to be detained, along with senior cadres and former parliamentarians, as well as other party members. Some of them – including party founder and leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos – had been under house arrest for years before being sentenced to 13 years in prison about two weeks ago for forming a criminal organization.
Michaloliakos spoke to journalists outside his home in Athens: “I am proud that they are locking me up for my ideas,” he said. One day people will be ashamed of this decision, the party will be right “by history and by the people”.
Michaloliakos had always referred to the trial as a political conspiracy, insisting that he was not a Nazi, but a nationalist. However, before and after his arrest in 2013, he repeatedly shouted “Sieg Heil” in Greek to the cameras. The party’s flag, the old symbol of the meander, is reminiscent of the swastika flags in the Third Reich.
Supporters of the Golden Dawn demonstrated in Athens in 2017: a large part of the leadership team is now in prison. (Source: Michalis Karagiannis / Reuters)
The Golden Dawn was represented in the Greek Parliament for many years. In fact, it was the third-strongest fighting force during the country’s severe financial crisis. However, in the 2019 election, it failed due to the three percent clause.
The case against the party was initiated by the death of a left-wing musician who was stabbed to death by a Golden Dawn supporter in 2013. The perpetrator confessed and is serving a life sentence. The act was followed by searches and investigations against party leaders and numerous officials for further crimes, including possession of weapons and the formation of a criminal organization.