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Criminal Organization Golden Dawn is Behind Bars For Good

The Athens Appeals Court in session. Credit: AMNA

Judges at the Athens Appeals Court announced near maximum sentences under Greek law for the convicted leaders and members of the criminal organization Golden Dawn.

Leader Nikos Michaloliakos and five other leading members get 13-years in jail. They include Christos Pappas, Ilias Kasidiaris, Ioannis Lagos, Giorgos Germenis, Ilias Panagiotaros, while Artemis Matthaiopoulos was given a slightly lower sentence of 10 years.

Shorter prison sentences of five to seven years were imposed on other members of the party accused only for their membership of a criminal organization.

The presiding judge had earlier read out the sentence for the killer of Pavlos Fyssas, Giorgos Roupakias, handing down a life sentence for the murder and an additional 10 years for his membership of Golden Dawn, which has been ruled a criminal organization. His accomplice in the killing was given eight years.

Prosecutors had argued that Michaloliakos ran his party under a military-style hierarchy modelled on Hitler’s Nazi party, with himself as a leader for more than 30 years.

Tapping into anti-austerity and anti-migrant anger during Greece’s 10-year-long debt crisis, Golden Dawn for a time was the third most popular party in the country.

The party was in parliament from 2012 onwards, with its lawmakers repeatedly shocking the chamber with provocative and aggressive behavior. It failed to win a single seat in last year’s parliamentary election.

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