August 5, 2021

Arrest of number two in Greek neo-Nazi party seals end of long run

After nine months on the run, Christos Pappas, number two of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, sentenced by Greek justice to thirteen years and three months in prison in October 2020 for leading a “Criminal organization”, was arrested on Thursday 1is July in the middle of the night by the Greek police.

It was neither in a conservative monastery on Mount Athos, nor in a neighboring Balkan country, that the ultra-right ideologue was hiding, as some Greek media suggested, but in an apartment in a quiet district of ‘a suburb of Athens, in Zografou. He was staying with a 52-year-old woman, who was sentenced to thirty months in prison for immediate appearance on Friday for hiding the fugitive. She presented herself, during the last municipal elections (in 2019), on the same electoral list as Ilias Kassidiaris. This other leader of the training had made himself known to the general public by slapping a Communist deputy, live on a television set.

Admirer of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler

On Friday, the Athens prosecutor ordered the transfer of Christos Pappas to the high-security Domokos prison in the center of the country, where other neo-Nazi leaders are imprisoned. Christos Pappas was the last of the Golden Dawn cadres to still escape justice. On May 15, Greek MEP Ioannis Lagos, who until recently enjoyed parliamentary immunity, was extradited from Belgium to Greece to serve his sentence.

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Christos Pappas, 59, former owner of a furniture store whose father-general in the army helped Georgios Papadopoulos establish the colonels’ dictatorship in 1967, is an admirer of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. During the search by the police of his home were found weapons (without a permit), stamps bearing the effigy of Mussolini, Nazi military helmets, photos of him dressed in SS uniform, a portrait of Hitler, or another video in which he teaches his children to give the Nazi salute.

“Greek democracy has eliminated the poisonous poison of Golden Dawn. With the arrest of Christos Pappas, the last chapter of this criminal organization is finally closed ”, said Aristotelia Peloni, spokesperson for the Conservative government. But the main opposition party, Syriza (left), on the contrary castigated the slowness of this arrest. : “It took nine months to arrest Christos Pappas when he was supposed to be watched by the authorities before his judgment” precisely to prevent him from fleeing. For the anti-racist movement KEERFA, this delay is proof of the still existing links between the police and the neo-Nazi movement: “For years, Golden Dawn has enjoyed great impunity and the protection of the police. “

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