SYRIZA Law Could Clear Golden Dawn Over Migrant Attack

FILE - Golden Dawn's Giorgos Patelis at the courtroom, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)

ATHENS – A law passed by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA just before it was ousted, aimed at helping terrorists and anarchists get leniency, could see two top officials of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn acquitted of directing an attack in June 2012 on a group of Egyptian fishermen.

A prosecutor cited the SYRIZA law in recommending the men be cleared of the charges, more than seven years after the incident and as the hierarchy of the party and dozens of members are in the fourth year of a trial on charges of running a criminal gang.

The new penal code, she said, downgraded the seriousness of the charges against Yiannis Lagos, a Member of the European Parliament and former member of the Greek Parliament Nikos Michos as the law changed some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

Another defendant in the case denied all the charges in the assault on the four fishermen at their house in Ikonio in the Piraeus district of Perama and said he wasn’t even a member of the party but got involved when he was offered 25 euros ($27.59) if he took photos showing he was, but said he never got paid.

All three charged in the assault itself – Dimitris Agrioyiannis, Markos Evgenikos and Thomas Marias – said they weren’t part of the attack, contradicting what they had told investigating magistrates in earlier testimonies with reason given for changing their stories for now.