The father of murdered anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas told a court at Athens’s Korydallos Prison on Tuesday that Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos was ultimately responsible for his son’s death and has “blood on his hands.”
Panayiotis Fyssas is the first witness to take the stand in the trial of Golden Dawn’s leadership, MPs and members as the last few weeks, since the court first sat, have been taken up by procedural matters.
Fyssas was questioned about the September night two years ago when his son was stabbed to death by GD member Giorgos Roupakias after being chased from a cafe in Keratsini, near Piraeus, by a group of neo-Nazis.
Fyssas explained that he received a phone call at around midnight on September 18, 2013 and rushed to the scene of the stabbing. He told the court that he thought his son was alive at the time but that looking back on events he realized that Pavlos had probably already died by the time he was taken to the hospital.
“My suspicions turned toward Golden Dawn because my son’s songs annoyed them,” Fyssas said when he the judge asked him who he thought had killed Pavlos. “His lyrics were directed at them.”
Fyssas said that based on what he was told by Pavlos’s friends, who were with him, a group of around 20 GD supporters chased them from the cafe, where they were watching a soccer match. He said his son was unable to get away because several of his attackers cornered him and attacked him.
“Then the professional hit man arrived,” said Fyssas of Roupakias, who witnesses say arrived in his car and stabbed the rapper. Fyssas claimed that the party leadership had ordered the murder.
“The order came from the upper echelons of the party,” said the witness. “These guys take orders even to get up from their seats.”
The judge asked Fyssas who he believed had given the order to kill his son. “Michaloliakos,” he replied. “He has my son’s blood all over his hands.”
Fyssas made reference to the fact that the Golden Dawn leader, who was released from pretrial custody earlier this year, had accepted “political responsibility” for the murder in a recent radio interview. The civil prosecution has asked for this comment by Michaloliakos to be recognized by the court.
The witness also claimed that the victim’s friends told him there had been around 10 policemen at the scene but that none intervened until the stabbing had occurred. Roupakias was arrested by a female officer.
Pavlos Fyssas’s mother is due to give evidence on Friday.