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Society

After Five Years, Golden Dawn Criminal Trial Winding Down

September 3, 2020

ATHENS – It's been a long time coming but the often delayed trial of the leaders and dozens of members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party is coming to a close after more than five years of broken deliberations.

Final summations are due Sept. 4 by the lawyers representing the Nazi party’s founder and leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, and members of his family and former lawmakers, all ousted in July 7, 2019 snap elections, barely missing the 3 percent threshold needed to get back into Parliament.

Golden Dawn stands accused of running a criminal operation with a hierarchy based on Nazi methodology aimed at migrants and rivals and that the leaders ordered or were aware of criminal activities, including the September 2013 murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas. 

One of its members, Giorgos Roupakias, is accused of stabbing Fyssas to death infront of the singer's girlfriend and other friends and has been under house arrest after being released from a maximum 18-months pre-trial detention.

The murder sparked a furious backlash and led to a probe into the group's operation, including brutal attacks carried out against a group of Egyptian fishermen and Communist activists as well as attacks on migrants in 2012-13.

The defendants often didn't appear for the trial nor were compelled to and it wasn't said if they will be in court for its end after the prosecution presented thousands of pages of evidence and hundreds of witnesses, beginning in April, 2015.

Beset by delays, the trial – a monumental process comprising dozens of defendants, hundreds of witnesses and thousands of pages of documentation and evidence – began in April 2015.

The judges hearing the case are also expected on the final day of the trial to give a date when a verdict will be announced, the defendants not having been detained while it was going on all this time.

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