ATHENS – A member of the extremist Golden Dawn party will soon face a court on charges of murdering an anti-fascist hip-hop artist, Pavlos Fyssas, a year ago.
Giorgos Roupakias, a self-proclaimed member of the ultra far-right party has allegedly confessed to the crime, with evidence suggesting that he was following orders from leadership of Golden Dawn, whose 18 lawmakers and scores of party members have been arrested on charges of running a criminal gang.
The trial is now expected to begin before the end of the year. Fyssas’ shocking killing, which came after an altercation at a cafe, sparked outrage and led to anti-Golden Dawn protests, and the killing of two guards of the party at a neighborhood headquarters, for which no one has been arrested.
Prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos, who has supervised the probe into the activities of Golden Dawn’s MPs and other high-ranking party officials, is reportedly readying recommendations for a council of judges and to request a start to the trial.
The investigation that followed the lethal stabbing of Fyssas in the early hours of Sept. 18, 2013, in Keratsini, a suburb of Piraeus, is the biggest involving political officials to be conducted in Greece since the aftermath of World War II.
The killing sparked a probe into the party’s activities, led by investigating magistrates Ioanna Klapa and Maria Dimitropoulou under the supervision of Dogiakos, and has accumulated more than 10,000 pages of purported evidence and digital archives and photos.
Among those charged is the head of the branch of Golden Dawn in Nikaia, near Keratsini, Giorgos Patelis.
The central premise of the case is that the murder of 34-year-old Fyssas was ordered from within the party ranks and was politically motivated as the young musician was known for his anti-fascist activism.
Nine of the original Golden Dawn 18 MPs (two defected earlier this year) are currently in pre-trial custody, including party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and his right-hand man Christos Pappas and party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, facing additional weapons charges.The other nine have been granted conditional release.
Anti-fascist rallies are being organized to mark the anniversary of the murder are planned for Sept. 18 in Keratsini and in other parts of the country. There will also be a concert held in Syntagma Square on September 19 to commemorate his death.