Andreas Tzelis, one of the prosecution lawyers for the family of murdered antifascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas in the long-running Golden Dawn trial, died on Tuesday after a long illness.
Tzelis worked pro bono in the case when it was still at the hands of the investigative magistrate in Piraeus and through the five years of the trial. Due to his health problems, he was unable to present his closing arguments the end of the trial.
Thanasis Kampagiannis, one of the lawyers representing other victims of Golden Dawn in the same trial, described Tzelis as a “rock” for the prosecution.
“Pavlos’ family found in Andreas a steadfast defender and a sleepless guard. And they reciprocated with deep confidence, which taught us how close a lawyer can be to the people he is called upon to represent,” he said in a post on his Facebook page.
Following a politically charged five-year trial against dozens of defendants, including former lawmakers of what had become Greece’s third largest party, seven of Golden Dawn’s 18 former lawmakers, including leader Nikos Michaloliakos, were found guilty of leading a criminal organization, in a landmark ruling delivered on 7 October, 2020.
The rest were found guilty of participating in a criminal organization.
On October 14 of the same year, the same court sentenced the leadership of the party to 13 years in prison Wednesday, imposing the near-maximum penalty for running a criminal organization.