ATHENS — Emerging from the Athens Appeals Court, where judges had earlier on Thursday ruled that Golden Dawn's leadership and the majority on those on trial for its activities will go to jail, Magda Fyssa was greeted by tears, applause and shouts of "Pavlos lives, crush the Nazis" after her long and victorious battle to seek justice for her son, the slain rapper Pavlos Fyssas.
Asked whether she felt the decision vindicated her son, she replied: "That, I don't know, whether he is vindicated. If only he were here to say himself. If only he had been one of the victims that they hit and left maimed. Would that he were here to say himself whether he is vindicated or not. But Pavlos is not here. Therefore, I don't think there can be vindication for Pavlos. The vindication is for us, for the people that fought to prove that this is, in fact, a criminal organisation in the guise of a political party."
Commenting on the court's decision, Magda Fyssa said she "felt vindicated in some way, as the criminals will go to prison." She also thanked the lawyers representing the civil actions in the case and the people that had supported the Fyssas family during the long years of the trial "from the depths of my heart," noting that "only those of us who were in the courtroom can know what they went through."
"Above all, what I want to stress is to give thanks for the umpteenth time, because only I who was there understood their whole struggle and how much effort and work was done to prove it was a criminal organisation. They might have not worked so hard and not had so much evidence, because it was not all in the case file. I am talking of the lawyers and all the people that supported us all these years," she said.
The court has sentenced the leadership of Greece s extreme-right Golden Dawn party to 13 years in prison, imposing the near-maximum penalty for running a criminal organization blamed for numerous violent hate crimes. The landmark ruling follows a five-year trial of dozens of top officials, members, and supporters of the organization founded as a Neo-Nazi group in the 1980s, that rose to become Greece s third-largest political party during a major financial crisis in the previous decade.