A Greek court has ruled that the far-right Golden Dawn party was operating as a criminal organisation, delivering a landmark verdict in a marathon five-year trial.
The court delivered guilty verdicts against several of the party’s former legislators for participating in a criminal organisation, and deemed others guilty of leading a criminal organisation.
Security tight was tight at the Athens courthouse with more than 15,000 people gathered for an anti-fascist rally outside.
The 68 defendants in the trial included 18 former legislators from the party that was founded in the 1980s as a neo-Nazi organization and rose to become Greece’s third largest party in parliament during the country’s decade-long financial crisis.
The court has been assessing four cases rolled into one: the fatal stabbing of Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, attacks on migrant fishermen, attacks on left-wing activists, and whether Golden Dawn was operating as a criminal organisation.
The presiding judge of the three-member panel began reading the verdicts by delivering a guilty verdict against Giorgos Roupakias for the murder of Fyssas.
That prompted applause inside the courtroom and among the crowd outside. Roupakias had been accused of being a party supporter who delivered the fatal stab wounds.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?