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Politics

Greek Judge Rips Prosecutor Asking for Golden Dawn Leniency

ATHENS – A Greek judge on a panel that will decide the fate of the leaders and dozens of members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party convicted of running or being in a criminal gang tore into a prosecutor wanting their sentences suspended.

Prosecutor Adamantia Oikonomou – in the Greek legal system a prosecutor is a neutral arbiter who hears both sides and makes recommendations – first had called for all of them be acquitted and now wants no jail time for them despite sentences up to 13 years.

She had said there wasn't enough evidence against them despite a five-year trial that produced thousands of pages of proof and scores of witnesses without explaining the contradiction.

But when she told the court the sentences should be suspended because the convicts didn't have prior criminal records, Judge Maria Lepeniotou pointed out that 11 of the 57 had been convicted of other crimes, including for serious offenses including manslaughter and grievous bodily harm. 

The prosecutor also said the court should go easy on the gang leaders, former lawmakers and members because they hadn't violated any detention terms during the trial they didn't attend. 

But Lepeniotou also noted that former Golden Dawn official and now Member of the European Parliament Ioannis Lagos violated pre-trial restrictions in 2015 but his lawyers said he didn't after that.

That all came about as the court adjourned to Oct. 21 to hear more arguments in that matter and over the prosecutor's insistence nobody should go to jail except for Giorgos Roupakias, a gang member convicted of murdering anti-Fascist hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas in 2013, who was given a life sentence.

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