Court reconvening after Golden Dawn leadership given13-year terms

Court reconvening after Golden Dawn leadership given13-year terms

A Greek court on Wednesday passed down 13-year prison sentences for the party leadership of Golden Dawn, while handing a life term plus an additional 14 years to GD member Giorgos Roupakias for the 2013 murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas. 

The court is to reconvene on Thursday to consider which sentences will be suspended, after which arrest warrants will be issued for the former MPs and party members who will not have the right to appeal. 

The sentences for GD’s political leadership were close to the 15-year maximum foreseen by the Greek penal code. Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and another five former MPs, including sitting MEP Ioannis Lagos and former GD spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, got 13-year sentences. The seventh ex MP characterized as belonging to the party leadership, Artemis Matthaiopoulos, got 10 years.

Roupakias received the harshest penalty – a life term for the murder of Fyssas plus 10 years for membership of a criminal organization and another four years for weapons possession. Stiff prison sentences were also given to those found guilty of attacks on three Egyptian fishermen in 2012 and assaults on members of the Greek Communist Party trade union PAME in 2013. 

Four former GD MPs – Stathis Boukouras, Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos, Nikos Michos and Michalis Arvanitis – were given five-year terms each due to mitigating circumstances. Under the Greek criminal code this means they are not at risk of serving any prison time. 

The outlook for the other ex-MPs, and members, is unclear, with their defense lawyers on Thursday to fight their clients’ cases in court as the discussion on possible suspensions gets under way.

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