Ex-leader and MPs found guilty after biggest trial of fascists since Nuremberg
A court verdict in Athens with ramifications for the far right across Europe has been met with jubilation in Greece and internationally after judges ruled the neo-fascist Golden Dawn was a criminal organisation in disguise.
Tens of thousands people who had converged near the heavily guarded court complex in Athens in anticipation of the judgment roared in excitement as the news emerged. Many broke into spontaneous applause and punched the air as it became clear that the three-member tribunal had found the far-right group guilty of operating a gang of hit squads bent on eliminating perceived enemies.
“It’s official. Golden Dawn is over. The conviction is overwhelming,” said Petros Constantinou, a leading anti-racism activist. “The mood here today is resonant of the celebrations we saw with the liberation of Athens from the Nazis. It’s a great day.”
Wrapping up a trial that began in April 2015, the presiding judge, Maria Lepenioti, said the court had concluded that seven of Golden Dawn’s 18 former MPs, including the party founder, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, had led the deadly organisation. The rest were found culpable of participating in the gang.
The verdict was met with widespread relief. Magda Fyssa, whose son Pavlos Fyssas, an anti-fascist rapper, was stabbed to death by a senior party operative, and who attended almost every court session over the past five and half years, screamed with emotion. “Pavlos did it! My son,” she wailed outside the courtroom.
How it started seven years ago: