The Athens public prosecutor’s office on Tuesday called for drastic imprisonment terms in the trial of the leaders and thugs of the fascist Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party. Prosecutor Adamantia Oikonomou applied for a life sentence for Giorgos Roupakias, who murdered the musician Pavlos Fyssas on September 18, 2013. Nikos Michaloliakos, the 62-year-old founder of the party that was classified as a “criminal organization” by Areopagus – the highest Greek court – on Friday, as well as five leading members of the party, face 13 years imprisonment.
Among the 68 accused are eleven former members of parliament whose membership in the Chrysi Avgi also identifies them as masterminds and organizers of numerous acts of violence – including against Egyptian fishermen in 2012 and against members of the communist union PAME in 2013. You can expect prison sentences of five to seven years. The police officer Veta Popori, a “regional leader” of the organization, was called for seven years in prison.
In the afternoon the defenders had the floor, among them the Holocaust denier and author of fascist writings, Konstantinos Plevris. The subsequent consultation of the court should take place in the evening (after jW– editorial deadline) or the verdict will follow on Wednesday. The process was also followed on Monday and Tuesday by a few thousand people in front of the courthouse on the Athenian »Alexandras«. The boulevard, one of the main arteries of the Greek capital, was closed to traffic during the entire negotiation period.
Last week the government and parliament unanimously welcomed the decision of the Areopagus to finally classify the Chrysi Avgi as a “criminal organization” 27 years after it was founded. A decision whose political implications the defense lawyers cited on Tuesday as evidence of an “expected judgment shaped by certain interests.” Syriza, the former leftist party that has been largely social democratized by former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras since 2015, assessed the prosecutor’s petitions before the verdict was pronounced as a “tremendous victory for democracy and the judiciary” of the country.
The Athens newspaper had the weekend I Avgi, The mouthpiece of Syriza, caused a medium-sized political scandal with its front page. Under a large-format photo of the ruling right-wing conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis – arm in arm with one of his predecessors, the former party leader of the Nea Dimokratia (ND), Antonis Samaras – the journalists published an article with the headline: “You are not innocent …” in theirs The authors accuse former and current top people of the ND for having “sympathized” with Chrysi Avgi and made “this criminal gang” socially acceptable.
Well-known Athens lawyer Thanassis Kampagiannis, one of the current commentators for the independent daily Efimerida ton syntakton (Him), had repeatedly warned of the danger posed by Chrysi Avgi in recent years. On September 15, 2014, at an event organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, which is closely related to the party, in Athens, Kampagiannis spoke of a “structural” fascism that continued in Greek society even after the end of the military dictatorship in 1974, namely “not through Judgments ”, but can only be defeated by a thorough cleansing of the state organs.