NEWS

Verdict expected on police response to murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas

An internal Public Order Ministry inquiry into the response of a squad of motorcycle riding DIAS policemen to events on the night of September 17 that led to the fatal stabbing of 34-year-old rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a Golden Dawn member was expected to conclude on Tuesday, the Athens-Macedonia News Agency reported.

The inquiry was launched to determine whether a group of DIAS officers who were present in the Athens neighborhood of Keratsini when Fyssas was killed could have prevented the attack by acting earlier.

The probe was launched based on testimony given by Fyssas’s girlfriend, who was there when the rapper and his friends were attacked by a group of Golden Dawn members who had chased them after they left a cafe. She told the Piraeus magistrate investigating the sequence of events that led to 45-year-old Giorgos Roupakias stabbing Fyssas twice, that a squad of DIAS officers stood nearby and ignored calls for help.

According to the testimony, only one female officer reacted to the attack when Roupakias pulled up in his car and wielded a knife.

The inquiry was launched after SYRIZA MPs Rena Dourou and Dimitris Tsoukalas claimed that the testimony given by Fyssas’s girlfriend “clearly reveals that had those present at the bloody incident, the officers of the DIAS squad, intervened earlier and more drastically against the black-clad group, it is very likely that the fatal outcome could have been avoided.”

Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias assured MPs said that the an internal inquiry would determine whether disciplinary action needs to be taken against any of the officers.

Roupakias, who confessed to stabbing Fyssas, is suspected of having acted on orders coming from higher up in Golden Dawn’s hierarchy. Investigators are focusing their efforts on a series of telephone calls made between the group of people who initially attacked Fyssas and his friends, Roupakias and the party’s higher echelons.

Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos as well as several MPs and party cadres, including the head of the Nikaia branch who is responsible for party activities in nearby Keratsini, are in custody pending trial on charges of forming a criminal organization.