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Slain rapper’s mother breaks down as she ends her testimony

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The mother of Pavlos Fyssas, the singer-songwriter stabbed to death in September 2013 in Keratsini, Piraeus, threw a plastic bottle of water at the chief suspect, Giorgos Roupakis, as she ended her emotionally fraught testimony on Tuesday afternoon in the trial against ultranationlist party Golden Dawn.

On her second day on the stand at one of Greece’s biggest political trials in modern history, Magda Fyssa broke down on at least two occasions while giving her interpretation of the events that led to her 34-year-old son being stabbed to death on a street outside a café during an altercation with suspected Golden Dawn members.

Fyssa told the court that she has spent the two years since her son's death studying the hierarchy and operation of Golden Dawn, which stands accused of constituting a criminal organization and ordering Roupakias to kill the young artist, whose lyrics have been described as “anti-fascist.”

She said that her review of the evidence collected by the prosecution shows that Roupakias was acting on the command of the Golden Dawn Nikaia branch leader, Giorgos Patelis, who had previously spoken on the telephone with lawmaker Yiannis Lagos.

“Lagos is not alone; the orders come from their leader [Nikos] Michaloliakos,” Magda Fyssa said. “This is evident from the hierarchy and the structure of the organization. I’ve been studying this subject for two years, reading up. I’ve done little else. This is the organization. This is Golden Dawn. The leader, Michaloliakos, has the final say. Orders are given to the MP and then down to the cell leaders and from them to the members.”

The distraught mother also described testimony suggesting that Roupakias, who has allegedly confessed to stabbing Fyssas and to being a member of Golden Dawn, appeared to be on familiar terms with the police officers who arrested him after the incident and was allowed to roam freely at the precinct where he was taken for questioning.

Magda Fyssa added that her family and her son’s friends have received threatening telephone calls and been the target of intimidation tactics since the start of the trial.

“They have vandalized Pavlos’s memorial,” Magda Fyssas said of a monument erected in tribute to the artist near the site of his killing. “They ride past our house on motorcycles displaying Golden Dawn insignia, showing us that they’re around.”

Michaloliakos, Patelis and Lagos are among dozens of Golden Dawn officials and members on trial at a specially modified court in Korydallos Prison.