ATHENS - Setting aside thousands of pages of evidence and testimony claiming the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party’s hierarchy and dozens of members committed a string of crimes, a prosecutor said 17 of the leaders should be found innocent but that a member charged with killing an anti-Fascist hip-hop artist guilty.
That came nearly 4 ½ years after the trial began with Three-justice Appeals Court prosecutor Adamantia Economou recommending the verdict, saying Giorgos Roupakis had killed Pavlos Fyssas in 2013 but that party leaders hadn’t committed any crimes.
Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and other high-ranking officials should be acquitted of charges of running a criminal organization, the prosecutor said before the trial had even finished, drawing the wrath of Fyssas’ mother.
“Today, on the 18th, Pavlos Fyssas has been dead for 75 months. You chose today to stab him again?” Magda Fyssa asked the prosecutor before departing the courtroom after Oikonomou said despite the mountain of evidence presented that there weren’t sufficient grounds to find the defendants guilty of any crimes, including the murders of Fyssas and 27-year-old Pakistani laborer Shazat Luqman, both in 2013.
She said Roupakias was acting on his own when he stabbed the musician and recommended leniency for for nine party members accused of two brutal attacks carried out, in 2012 and 2013, on four Egyptian fishermen and on a group of Communist-affiliated PAME unionists in the Piraeus port suburb of Perama, Greek media reports said.
The prosecutor described these incidents as “isolated acts for which the leadership was not responsible.” She added: “A political party’s ideology is irrelevant from the point of view of criminal law; what we’re investigating are criminal acts,” although critics said members were incited by the neo-Nazi ideology of violence.
She said Golden Dawn’s failure to gain re-election to Parliament this summer was a form of punishment because it lost popularity after the killing of Fyssas and other crimes for which she said party leaders weren’t responsible.
Nearly 70 people were initially charged in a massive indictment but it wasn’t reported what recommendations were made for others apart from those the prosecutor said weren’t guilty.