ATHENS – The wife of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn leader told a court in the trial of the party’s hierarchy and dozens of members on charges of running a criminal gang that the couple didn’t hear about the murder of anti-Fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas under a day after it happened.
He was killed in 2013 but the trial is now in its fourth year and not expected to end until next year as the defendants routinely don’t show up and hadn’t been compelled to be in court despite the seriousness of the charges.
One of the party’s members, Giorgos Roupakias, is charged with the killing but is out of pre-trial detention under house arrest during the long, drawn-out proceedings that helped bring down the party that was ousted from Parliament in July 7 snap elections and has fallen into financial problems and disarray in the ranks.
Eleni Zaroulia, the wife of party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, contradicted testimony by Aris Spinos, a defense witness for her husband, who said the Golden Dawn chief was frantically making phone calls a few hours after the killing trying to find out what happened.
She said, despite widespread news reports of the murder, that they knew nothing about until a day later although it was all over the news and gripped the country’s attention. Previous testimony included claims that the party was well-informed about what was going on.
Zaroulia had been a fiery defendant of the party’s policies that critics said were anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant and included Nazi methods to recruit and indoctrinate members who went out roving in gangs looking for targets. They are now in disfavor with Greek voters.