Fugitive neo-Nazi thug guilty of club attack

A wanted neo-Nazi extremist was sentenced in absentia yesterday to four years’ imprisonment for a vicious attack on a leftist student near the main Athens court complex. Antonis Androutsopoulos has been sought since July 1998 on a warrant for attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and illegal use of a weapon in relation to the June 1998 clubbing of three leftists, including student Dimitris Koussouris, in a coffee shop opposite the courts. Koussouris identified his assailants as members of the Chryssi Avgi neo-Nazi group which has been implicated in a string of Athens beatings of leftists and immigrants. Yesterday, Androutsopoulos was found guilty of the less serious charges. He will also be tried for attempted murder, in the event of his capture. Human rights groups and left-wing activists claim that Chryssi Avgi sympathizers in the police have shielded him from arrest.

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