EU Parliament lifts immunity of convicted Greek far-right MEP


The European Parliament voted to waive the immunity of convicted Golden Dawn lawmaker Ioannis Lagos. 

In the long-awaited vote, which took place late on Monday but whose results were published on Tuesday, 658 MEPs voted in favor, 25 against and 10 abstained. 

The decision opens the way for his arrest by the Belgian authorities and his extradition to Greece to serve his sentence. 

Lagos was sentenced, along with the leadership of Golden Dawn on 14 October 2020, to 13 years in prison by a Greek court, for running a criminal organization blamed for numerous violent hate crimes.

Another leading member of the former party, Christos Pappas, remains on the run after his conviction.

Golden Dawn was founded as a neo-Nazi group in the 1980s and remained a fringe group until it rose to prominence during the country’s 2010-2018 financial crisis. 

Running on a nationalist, populist platform, it won parliamentary seats in four separate elections and became Greece’s third-largest political party. 

It was involved in multiple hate crimes, including brutal street attacks on immigrants and left-wing activists.