Golden Dawn offenses date back to 1996, lawyers say

A document submitted to an Athens court on Tuesday lists dozens of lawsuits and convictions involving members and supporters of neofascist Golden Dawn going back to 1996, indicating that the party’s alleged criminal activity started much earlier than 2008, as suggested by prosecutor Isidoros Doyiakos, who has been handling an investigation into GD.

The document, signed by several lawyers including those representing an Egyptian fisherman assaulted in June 2012 by GD members, was submitted to the court as judicial officials prepare to start a criminal trial against GD MPs and members.

According to the document, GD members often operated in groups with different names such as Phalanx, Golden Eagles and Attack Squad. All attacks were planned in advance, targeted small groups or individuals, usually immigrants or leftists, and most of the time were conducted in the presence of a high-ranking GD official.

Five victims of an attack in 1996 by suspected GD members in Fokionos Negri Street in Kypseli, near central Athens, said the assault was well organized. “We suffered a sudden, violent and unprovoked attack by a group of 15 men,” according to a statement by members of the leftist group who said the perpetrators wielded wooden and metal clubs.

GD’s criminal activities are believed to have begun even earlier, as far back as 1987, according to the lawyers who compiled the 223-page document.

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