Golden Dawn trial ends, with leadership and majority of those on trial going to prison

Nikos Michaloliakos, founder and leader of the former party Golden Dawn, ruled by Greek courts a criminal organization, is as of Thursday afternoon in police jurisdiction at the Attica Police Headquarters (GADA) in Athens, after giving himself up at his local Pefki police department.

An appeals court on Thursday called for the immediate imprisonment of most defendants, former MPs and other party members, whose sentences were not suspended.

After presenting himself at Pefki along with his daughter Ourania, Michaloliakos was transfered to GADA on Alexandras Avenue. His daughter and his wife, Eleni Zaroulia, who was sentenced on suspension, followed in a private car. The daughter verbally attacked journalists both outside the Pefki police station and in the car while driving.

Michaloliakos was led to a special holding area on GADA’s seventh floor, where Giorgos Germenis, Panagiotis Iliopoulos, Ilias Kasidiaris, Yiannis Kazantzoglou, Giorgos Patelis and Giorgos Tsakanikas are also awaiting to be transferred to prison. 

Five of those sentenced to serve prison sentences for their part in Golden Dawn had voluntarily presented themselves to police stations in their area on Thursday afternoon, after the court ruled that sentences for the majority on trial will not be suspended.

In addition to Ilias Kasidiaris, Giorgos Patelis and Giorgos Tsakanikas, Yiannis Kazantzoglou also gave himself up at the police station in Nikaia and Markos Evgenikos at the police station in Perama.

Ten were arrested in court, where they had gone to hear the final ruling, and taken straight to the transfers unit to be sent to prison.

All those convicted and sentenced to prison, whether they are arrested or voluntarily present themselves, will first be taken to GADA and then to the forensic investigations department for processing and the prosecutor for the execution of sentences, who will decide which correctional facility they will be sent to.

Subsequently, they will go to the transfers unit to be taken to prison.
In total, the court has ruled that 38 of the 50 defendants found guilty will go to jail, among which are 13 former MPs in the Greek parliament. According to sources, GD’s leadership will be sent to the prison in Domokos and the rest divided among the prisons of Domokos, Malandrinou and Trikala.

Meanwhile, as a police official told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), the police are fully ready to carry out arrests and have set up 20 arrest teams that are on standby at the locations of those sentenced in the trial, to arrest them if they do not voluntarily give themselves up.

This process may take some time, however, as most arrests will require the presence of a public prosecutor, since the majority are in their homes. Once in prison, all the convicts will remain in quarantine for 14 days as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19, with no contact with other inmates or with each other, if they are in conflict.

Majority found guilty, no sentence suspension

Presiding judge Maria Lepeniotou on Thursday declared the conclusion of the Golden Dawn trial, after the court announced that its leadership and the majority of the defendants found guilty during the proceedings will go straight to jail. Only 12 were given suspended sentences and will remain free but with restrictions until their case goes to appeal.

Three of the defendants have already decided to voluntarily give themselves up by presenting themselves at their local police station, among them former MP Ilias Kasidiaris at the Rafina police station, Giorgos Patelis in Nikaia and Giorgos Tsakanikas in Piraeus.

The process now calls for their transfer to the central police headquarters and from there to the prosecutor for the execution of sentences.

Among those the court has ruled should go to prison for their part in Golden Dawn, which has been ruled a criminal organisation in the guise of a political party, are its leader Nikos Michaloliakos, current MEP Yiannis Lagos, and former MPs Ilias Kasidiaris, Christos Pappas, Ilias Panagiotaros, Giorgos Germenis and Artemis Matthaiopoulos, who were all found guilty of running a criminal organisation.

Others that will immediately begin serving their prison sentences are Antonis Gregos, Polyvios Zisimopoulos, Panagiotis Iliopoulos, Nikos Kouzilos, Konstantinos Barbarousis and Nikos Michos, sentenced as members of Golden Dawn.

Sentences have been suspended pending appeal for Michalis Arvanitis, Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos, Stathis Boukouras, Dimitris Koukoutsis and Eleni Zaroulia, who will be released on condition that they do not attempt to leave the country and appear at a police station twice a month, as well as posting 20,000 euros bail.

The others to be released on condition that they do not leave the country and appear at a police station twice a month are Giorgos Skalkos, Giorgos Dimou, Thomas Marias, Konstantinos Papadopoulos, Kyriakos Antonakopoulos, Ioannis Kastrinos and Emmanouil Daskalakis.

Finally, among those going to jail are Giorgos Roupakias, who was sentenced to life for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, and his 14 accomplices, as well as the heads of two local chapters of the party, Giorgos Patelis and Anastasios Pantazis.

AMNA

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