Leader of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn receives 13-yr prison sentence after party declared criminal organization
Nikos Michaloliakos, the leader of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party, has been jailed for 13 years after a court ruled that the political organization was a criminal enterprise linked to a high-profile murder.
Several other top members of the party, which has been accused of espousing neo-Nazi beliefs, received identical sentences. In a landmark ruling announced last week, an Athens criminal appeals court found that Michaloliakos and his cohorts were guilty of “leading a criminal organization.” The court considered sentences of up to 15 years for Golden Dawn’s inner circle.
The historic five-year trail considered four separate criminal charges involving the murder of Greek rapper Pavlos Fyssas in 2013, attacks on migrant fishermen, attacks on left-wing activists and whether Golden Dawn was involved in unlawful activity.
Eleven former lawmakers who belonged to the extreme-right party were jailed for between five and seven years, while Giorgos Roupakias, the Golden Dawn member found guilty of murdering Fyassas, was handed a life sentence. In total, more than 50 defendants were convicted of various crimes, including running a criminal enterprise, murder, assault and illegal weapons possession.
At the height of its political power, Golden Dawn was Greece’s third-most popular party as voters sought radical change during the nation’s crippling financial crisis.
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