The leader of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, declared Thursday that his neofascist party “assumes the political responsibility” for the September 2013 murder of leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, fueling an outcry and raising questions about whether new charges should be lodged when the trial of GD resumes in November.
“As regards the political responsibility of the murder in Keratsini, we assume it,” Michaloliakos told Real FM. “But there is no criminal responsibility,” he said in apparent reference to the current and former MPs facing trial for running a criminal organization.
Confusing matters, however, Michaloliakos indicated that his party is not to blame for Fyssas’s killing, to which self-professed GD supporter Giorgos Roupakias has admitted.
“Is it really possible to charge a whole party because a supporter, a friend of the party, carried out a reprehensible act?” he said.
A statement issued later by GD underlined the latter point, saying that Michaloliakos “clarified that the party bears no responsibility for the murder in Keratsini, which it condemned from the very beginning.”
Fyssas’s killing spurred the police crackdown and subsequent judicial investigation that resulted in a criminal trial against Golden Dawn. The trial began in April and is to resume in late November.
Reacting Thursday, prosecution lawyer Costas Papadakis told Kathimerini that Michaloliakos’s comments could lead to new charges being lodged against GD politicians for acting as moral accomplices to the Fyssas killing as well as other assaults, including an attack on a group of Egyptian fishermen in 2012.
Other prosecution lawyers condemned Michaloliakos’s comments as an attempt to win votes in Sunday’s elections. One referred to “a last-ditch attempt by the neo-Nazis to pretend that they have changed and undergone self-criticism.”