ATHENS — A leading member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party convicted along with the leadership of running a criminal gang, who has been on the run from police to avoid going to jail, has nevertheless managed to file an appeal against his conviction.
Christos Pappas was given 13 years in jail but his lawyer, Periklis Stavrianakis, had said his client made a “conscious decision” to be a fugitive but wanted to appeal but said he didn't know where he was.
Stavrianakis didn't explain how Pappas could file the appeal without being in contact with him or, if he was, why police couldn't track him. The New Democracy government said Pappas was being watched before the jail sentence was announced but that he wasn't to protect his privacy.
“An appeal was lodged against the conviction and thus, together with other appeals, the way is opened for the appellate court,” Stavrianakis said on behalf of his client who apparently didn't lose the right to appeal for being a fugitive.
Stavrianakis said he “still does not know” where Pappas is hiding. Asked whether he knows if the former Golden Dawn lawmaker intends to surrender to the police, he replied: “All decisions can be reviewed but so far I have no knowledge of a change of intent,” said Kathimerini.
Pappas last checked in with his local police station in the northern Athens suburb of Papagou on Oct. 1 as required but has not been seen since, an embarrassing incident for the police and government who can't find him.
The rest of the Golden Dawn gang of former lawmakers is already in jail and there was no explanation of why a fugitive can appeal. None of the party members were in the court for the jailing announcement but either turned themselves in or arrested.