Golden Dawn trial postponed after police witness faints

Golden Dawn trial postponed after police witness faints

An officer of the police’s DIAS motorcycle squad fainted in court on Tuesday while under cross-examination from the chief judge regarding the events surrounding the murder of musician Pavlos Fyssas by a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in September 2013.

Officer Dimitris Bagios told the court he had been dispatched to the scene where the stabbing took place in the Piraeus suburb of Keratsini, maintaining the role of “observer” as Fyssas came under attack by a large group of black-clad men.

The assault followed a verbal altercation in a bar, after which the men allegedly pursued Fyssas outside the establishment and were joined by others before attacking him in the street. Witnesses have said that the 34-year-old artist was surrounded by about 50 attackers until Giorgos Roupakias drove up to the scene and delivered the fatal blow several minutes later.

Several police officers who were at the scene of the attack have told the court that they were reluctant to intervene as they were outnumbered by the assailants.

Bagios on Tuesday said that he saw about five or six black-clad men fleeing from the larger group but did not pursue them or call on other officers to take up the chase. He also described how two fellow officers had grabbed Fyssas by the arms after the gang had dispersed, adding that the 34-year-old lifted up his bloody shirt and said: “Not me, guys. He stabbed me.”

When he came under questioning by presiding judge Maria Lepeniotou, who asked why he failed to take action and whether he found his behaviour as a responding police officer justifiable, Bagios claimed he felt unwell and fainted as he was led out of the courtroom. Proceedings were interrupted as he was checked by medics and then postponed until Wednesday.

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