Court rules 3 Golden Dawn prisoners must remain behind bars pending appeal

Court rules 3 Golden Dawn prisoners must remain behind bars pending appeal

Three jailed members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn criminal organization must remain in behind bars pending their appeal against their sentences, an Athens court ruled Monday.

The five-member appeals court rejected a petition from the three prisoners – Tasos Pantazis, Anastasios Anadiotis and Aristotelis Chrysafitis – to be released pending their appeal.

Pantazis, the former head of the Golden Dawn branch in Perama, received a 12-year sentence for participating in an attack on Egyptian fishermen at Ikonio in Perama, a western neighborhood of Piraeus, and an attack on Communist Party trade unionists.

Niki-Anastasia Mouzaki, one of the judges who heard the case, said Pantazis’ petition should be rejected because Golden Dawn, the organization Pantazis claimed has disbanded, is still active “but in concealed activities.” There was a danger that Pantazis would reoffend, she added. As for the health problems he cited, there were not serious.

Anastasios Anadiotis, who was handed a seven-year sentence for participating in the murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas, said he wanted to attend a graduate studies program that had accepted his application.

The court rejected the petition of Aristotelis Chrysafitis, also jailed for seven years for the same charges as Anadiotis, as groundless.

Last month the court approved a petition by former Nikea Golden Dawn branch leader, Giorgos Patelis, to suspend his sentence and release him on restrictions. His lawyer said Patelis’ son was facing mental health problems. 

Following uproar at the move, the Supreme Court will review the decision, at the request of chief prosecutor Vassilis Plotas. [AMNA]

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