Wednesday’s verdict was that the culmination of a last-minute, politically-charged trial which included 68 defendants — party officials, members, and alleged supporters — over 200 witnesses and above 60 attorneys. Around 20,000 people held an anti-fascist rally outside the courthouse, and tens of thousands more held a similar rally at the northern town of Thessaloniki.
Golden Dawn, set up as a neo-Nazi set from the 1980s, rose to prominence throughout Greece’s barbarous near decade-long fiscal crisis that started in 2009, also eventually becomes the nation’s third-largest party. It was often regarded as a model for several extreme-right bands in Europe and beyond, and held parliamentary seats from 2012 before 2019 when its popularity plummeted in federal elections.
Sparked by the 2013 fatal stabbing of left-wing Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, the trial wrapped four instances to a single: Fyssas’ murdering; bodily attacks against Egyptian sailors in 2012 and on left-handed activists in 2013; and if Golden Dawn was working as a criminal association.
The court ruled the 18 former party lawmakers on seven, such as party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, were accountable for directing a criminal association and also face between five and 15 years in prison. Another 11 were deemed accountable for engaging in a criminal association, a charge that carries a possible sentence of five to ten decades.
Others — none of these former lawmakers — were condemned as accomplices.
Reacting to the verdict Thursday, Michaloliakos tweeted “they detained us for our thoughts.”
“If the illegal immigrants will be most in Greece, once they concede sea and land into Turkey when countless Greeks are jobless in the roads, then they will recall Golden Dawn,” he explained in a tweet also posted on the party’s site.
The lengthy sentencing process, where defense attorneys make summations laying out grounds for leniency, started immediately following the verdicts that were announced Wednesday and went into the evening. The process started again soon after noon Thursday and was likely to expand into the evening.
Prosecutor Adamantia Economou contended that mitigating conditions might be recognized for people found guilty of membership of a criminal association but not for different offenses.
The defendants aren’t required to be present in court for the verdict or sentencing and could be represented by their attorneys.
In the event, the judges impose terms which aren’t suspended or not postponed pending appeal, subsequent requests to the arrest of those sentenced could be issued.
There is a drawback regarding among the 18 former party lawmakers,” Ioannis Lagos, who’s presently a member of the European Parliament. Therefore, he enjoys resistance, whose lifting demands a very long procedure.
First Greece must formally request the lifting of the immunity. Lagos himself may also bring the issue to parliament by asking its protection. The need would need to be informed to the lawmakers, being completed at a plenary session — that occurs once or twice a month.
All this could take a few weeks, and just then would the thing of his possible extradition be input.
Approximately 60 such requirements were made to the European Parliament throughout the 2014-2019 term.