Crowd Applauds Appeals Court Ruling for Golden Dawn; Clashes with Police

Αssociated Press

A protester throws a smoke grenade towards the directions of Greek riot police officers, during scuffles in part of an anti-fascist rally, outside the courthouse in Athens, folloiwng the announcement of its verdict, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

ATHENS -- The crowd that gathered outside the Athens Appeals Court applauded and shouted slogans every time the court announced a guilty verdict one of the defendants on the loudspeakers. There was loud cheering and clapping when the court announced that Golden Dawn's leader Nikos Michaloliakos was found guilty of forming and running a criminal organisation, while the crowd started shouting "Pavlos is alive, crush the nazis".

Cheering was followed by clashes between police and a group of hood-wearing individuals outside the court building lobbing petrol bombs, smoke grenades and other objects at the police cordon, which was striving to push them back.

The court ruled that the far-right Golden Dawn party was operating as a criminal organization, delivering a landmark guilty verdict in a marathon five-year trial.The court ruled seven of the party s former lawmakers, including party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, were guilty of leading a criminal organization, while the others were guilty of participating in a criminal organization. .