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Politics

Belgian Court OKs Extradition of Golden Dawn MEP Ioannis Lagos

BRUSSELS — A Greek far-right member of the European Parliament arrested last month in Belgium can be extradited to Greece to serve a 13-year prison sentence, the Brussels prosecutor's office said Friday.

The office said Ioannis Lagos has until Monday to appeal the Brussels court's ruling that the European arrest warrant is executable. It did not say when Lagos, who had refused to be extradited upon his arrest, will be delivered to Greek authorities, citing "obvious security reasons." 

Lagos has been living in Brussels since a Greek court in October convicted him and 17 other former Greek lawmakers from the extreme-right Golden Dawn party of leading a criminal organization, or being members in it.

Lagos was taken into custody last month after the European Parliament voted to remove his immunity, paving the way for him to be sent to Athens on a European arrest warrant. 

Golden Dawn was founded as a Nazi-inspired group in the 1980s. It saw a surge in popularity during Greece's 2010-2018 financial crisis, gaining parliamentary representation between 2012 and 2019.

The five-year trial in Athens was launched following the 2013 murder of rapper and left-wing activist Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed to death by a Golden Dawn supporter.

The other convicted Golden Dawn members are already in jail, except for one who escaped arrest and is officially a fugitive.

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