Golden Dawn MPs knew about killing, calls show

Incriminating evidence against Golden Dawn mounted Monday, as six of its deputies prepared to face a magistrate on criminal charges from Tuesday, with extracts of a leaked prosecutor’s report offering insights into GD’s modus operandi and illicit activities while transcripts of wiretapped phone conversations between members of the extreme right-wing party appeared to implicate the grouping in the murder of a leftist rapper last month.

The prosecutor’s report indicates that the party’s charter – which operates according to a strict structure and hierarchical command resembling the Nazi Fuehrerprinzip – was enforced in the murder of 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas last month. Wiretapped phone calls between Golden Dawn officials suggest that the leadership of the party was briefed about the killing.

According to a report by the police force’s counterterrorism unit, whose officers have been analyzing dozens of phone calls made between Golden Dawn members and deputies on the night of September 17 when Fyssas was killed in Keratsini, near Piraeus, the party’s local MP, Yiannis Lagos, telephoned party leader Nikos Michaloliakos at 12.37 a.m. on September 18, about half an hour after the stabbing. Lagos received a text message from Michaloliakos shortly after 12.30 a.m. and then received two calls from the deputy, according to sources. In addition, the report indicated that several calls were made to Lagos between 9 p.m. on the night of the murder and 2 a.m. the following day by Giorgos Patelis, the head of Golden Dawn’s chapter in Nikaia, near Piraeus. Patelis was among several party officials arrested over the weekend in a police crackdown on Golden Dawn. A female police officer from the Piraeus precinct, who was also arrested over the weekend for suspected links to Golden Dawn, received a telephone call just after Fyssas’s murder from another suspected member of Golden Dawn detained in Saturday’s sweep.

Wiretapped calls made between suspected members of Golden Dawn after Fyssas’s killing, and made public by police, include jeering references to the dead hip-hop artist.

Police on Monday continued their search for the heavy weaponry Golden Dawn members are believed to be keeping in a secret cache somewhere in Attica and raided the homes of lawmakers Christos Pappas, Yiannis Lagos and Nikos Michos, turning up weapons, ammunition and Nazi paraphernalia. A search of the home of Pappas, the party’s second-in-command, in Ioannina, northwestern Greece, revealed two pistols, a sword, Nazi helmets and a photograph of Adolf Hitler with Golden Dawn written across the top.

A prosecutor’s report into the operation of Golden Dawn, leaked over the weekend, found that the party sought members with martial arts skills to train new arrivals and recruited Greeks aged 14 to 17 for hit squads as part of a program dubbed “Centaur.” Secondary school teachers told Kathimerini they had been disturbed by a worrying increase in pupils apparently embracing Nazi ideals, drawing swastikas and nationalist slogans on their desks, following reports of Golden Dawn infiltrating schools.

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