A Greek court on October 7, Wednesday, delivered a historic judgement convicting members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party of the murder of Greek musician Pavlos Fyssas. The court also declared the party a criminal organization. The case dealing with the murder of the musician in 2013 has been going on since 2015. The court was also hearing cases regarding the attempted murder of migrant fishermen and attacks on leftist activists.
Golden Dawn supporter Giorgos Roupakias was found guilty of murdering Pavlos Fyssas and 15 others were convicted of conspiracy in the case. The party’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, and his colleagues including former MPs Ilias Kasidiaris, Ioannis Lagos, Christos Pappas, Giorgos Germenis, etc. were convicted of heading a criminal group. Five Golden Dawn members were convicted of the attempted murders of migrant fishermen, and four for the attempted murder of communist activists of the PAME union. 68 defendants were convicted in total. The leaders of the party face over a decade in prison. The sentences will be announced after a few more days of legal proceedings.
Ahead of the verdict, progressive sections in Greece organized massive mobilizations across the country on Wednesday, demanding the imprisonment of the Golden Dawn fascists. Thousands joined the rally in Athens. Marches were also held in Thessaloniki, Agrinio, Arta, Volos, Ioannina, Zakynthos, Igoumenitsa, Heraklion, Ikaria, Katerini, Kozani, Cephalonia, Kardista, Larissa, Patras, Pyrgoss, Samos, Santorini, Syros, Trikala, Tripoli, and Chania. Following the verdict, there was widespread celebration even as protesters honored the memory of Fyssas and other victims of Golden Dawn’s violence.
34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas was murdered by Giorgos Roupakias on September 18, 2013, at Keratsini. Golden Dawn’s leadership, including its former MPs and cadres, were widely recognized to be complicit in Fyssas’ murder. They were also accused of directing a criminal fascist organization, whose members committed a series of crimes ranging from illegal possession of arms and perjury, to violent attacks against refugees, workers and political opponents.
In addition to the Fyssas murder, a verdict was also due in the case of the attempted murder of Egyptian fisherman Abouzid Embarak and three others on June 12, 2012, and the attempted murder of members of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and its trade union PAME on September 12, 2013.
Following the verdict, secretary general of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Dimitris Koutsoumbas, stated, “the court, guided by the truth, as emerged from a multitude of evidence, today convicted the golden-eyed murderers. This sentence must be accompanied by the exemplary punishment of the guilty, which is the imposition of maximum sentences, and of course be taken to prison. The trial, of course, also showed the tentacles and connections of the Nazis, which make them even more dangerous. No complacency is allowed. The main thing is for the people to face the evil at its root, by overthrowing the system that incubates this egg of the snake, Nazism, fascism.”
Magda Fyssa, the mother Pavlos Fyssas, was also present at the Court of Appeal in Athens to hear the verdict.
Earlier this year, on September 18, the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) and other progressives organized a massive rally at Keratsini, along with various other events, to mark the seventh anniversary of the martyrdom of Pavlos Fyssas.
The neo-nazi and fascist political group Golden Dawn was founded in 1985. It gained some electoral success during the Greek debt crisis (2009-2018). However, in the 2019 Greek legislative elections, Golden Dawn lost all its 18 MP seats.