NEWS

Probe extends to top echelons of Golden Dawn

Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Charalambos Vourliotis on Wednesday reportedly ordered restrictions to be lifted on the telephone records of officials and lawmakers of the ultra-right Golden Dawn as an investigation into the criminal activities of the party widens.

According to sources, judicial authorities who are conducting the investigation in coordination with the National Intelligence Service (EYP) already have evidence that incriminates officials and deputies of the party and could lead to the detention of several suspects on charges of membership of a criminal organization.

At least three active members of Golden Dawn are to offer testimony about the party’s activities in the coming days, Kathimerini understands. They have reportedly come under extreme pressure by party officials not to speak to the judiciary and so their testimonies are likely to be made at a secret location, not at court facilities.

A former Golden Dawn member reportedly gave evidence on Wednesday regarding the party’s structure and activities.

Also on Wednesday, Vourliotis listened to the testimonies of a series of witnesses of incidents in which members or supporters of Golden Dawn have been implicated. Among those who gave depositions were Notis Marias, parliamentary spokesman for the right-wing Independent Greeks, Giorgos Sotirelis, a professor of constitutional law, representatives of the Pakistani and Egyptian communities in Greece, and the leader of the Perama metalworkers’ union, Sotiris Poulikoyiannis, one of the nine Communist Party (KKE) members injured in a violent assault by Golden Dawn supporters earlier this month.

According to the sources, the fact that an unnamed member of Golden Dawn was involved in at least two of the 33 offenses being investigated by Vourliotis creates a sound basis for substantiating charges of forming a criminal organization.

Authorities may use wiretapping in a bid to shed further light on the offenses being investigated while recordings made in the past of individuals who have been put under state surveillance will also be drawn upon for the probe, sources said.

Meanwhile, five people alleged to have spoken by telephone with Giorgos Roupakias, the 45-year-old supporter of Golden Dawn, on the night that he killed 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas, testified before an investigating magistrate in Piraeus on Wednesday. Fyssas, a leftist rapper, was the first fatality linked to Golden Dawn who was not an immigrant.

The National Commission for Human Rights said on Wednesday that they had warned the authorities repeatedly about an increase in racially motived attacks by far-rightists on immigrants but had not been heeded.

In a related development, Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis ordered an urgent investigation into claims by the head of the Attica Psychiatric Hospital, Theodoros Megaloeconomou, that the head of one of the hospital’s nine clinics was an official of Golden Dawn and had been issuing patients seeking gun licenses with certificates attesting to their sound mental state.