Defense lawyers clash in Golden Dawn trial as ex-MP takes the stand

Defense lawyers clash in Golden Dawn trial as ex-MP takes the stand

The lawyers representing former lawmaker Nikos Michos and party chief Nikos Michaloliakos in the ongoing trial against Golden Dawn clashed in court on Friday when the ex-lawmaker cast aspersions concerning the far-right party’s economic management and its lax treatment of members involved in the September 2013 murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas.

Accusing each other of being “ridiculous” and “two-bit fascists,” the lawyers first crossed swords when Michos started explaining that his ideological differences with Michaloliakos are slight, suggesting that this was not the reason why he left the party in 2017.

Their outburst prompted the judges to call a brief recess, but tension was still high when proceedings resumed with Michos’ testimony about the night of the Fyssas murder.

The ex-MP said he was on the island of Evia on the night in question but was notified of an “incident involving some Roupakias guy, who I didn’t know,” he said referring to Giorgos Roupakias, accused of stabbing the 34-year-old artist to death.

“It was a complete mess that night… It was disgusting. No matter how much of a political rival someone is, you don’t do that kind of thing. We condemned it… We were going crazy because the party was on the rise and something like this would be blow. It was major. It cost us,” said Michos, adding that any party members involved in the incident should be convicted to life in prison.

His testimony also contradicted that of Michaloliakos’ wife, Eleni Zaroulia, who had told the court earlier this week that they only found out about the murder the day after.

“I spoke to everyone that night… I remember speaking to [Yiannis] Lagos… If I remember correctly, he told me he’d spoken with Michaloliakos,” said Michos.

Talking about his reasons for leaving the party, Michos also said that he was suspicious of its financial management.

“Another thing that bothered me was where the money from membership fees and other sources was going,” he said.

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