Greek police announced the arrest in Athens on Thursday 1is July by Christos Pappas, number two in the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, who had been on the run since being sentenced to more than thirteen years in prison in October 2020.
About fifty members of Golden Dawn were then sentenced after a five-and-a-half-year marathon trial in Athens. They were prosecuted for forming a criminal organization, murders, or illegal possession of weapons.
Christos Pappas, 59, who is considered one of the main ideologues of Golden Dawn, will be presented to a prosecutor on Friday, according to a police statement.
This former owner of a furniture store, whose father general helped Georgios Papadopoulos to establish a dictatorship in the country in 1967, is among others an admirer of Benito Mussolini, the founder of the fascist regime in Italy.
Party officials caught up with justice
Christos Pappas was the last of the Golden Dawn executives to still escape justice, since Greek MEP Ioannis Lagos, sentenced to thirteen years and eight months in prison for “Leadership of a criminal organization”, had been, on May 15, extradited from Belgium to Greece. Christos Pappas managed to avoid arrest in 2013, after leaders of Golden Dawn killed anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas – a crime that caused the downfall of this organization.
The party’s trial, which began in 2015, has since been described as one of the most significant in Greek political history. At the height of the financial crisis that the country experienced in 2012, Golden Dawn had managed to enter the Greek Parliament, taking advantage of the desperation of the Greeks and the discrediting of the traditional parties, New Democracy (right), in power now, and the Pasok (socialist).
Created in the 1990s, Golden Dawn had enjoyed virtual impunity for a long time, despite two confirmed murders and numerous acts of violence perpetrated against migrants, homosexuals and left-wing activists. Its decline began after the assassination of Pavlos Fyssas and the subsequent indictment of members of his leadership and other senior executives.
The failure in the last legislative elections, in 2019, of this neo-Nazi party as well as the condemnation of its leaders last October will have caused its collapse and will have earned it the loss of most of its electorate.