Greece’s far-right party’s fugitive deputy leader was jailed. Greece ATHENS – The deputy director of the Greek far-right Golden Dawn party was imprisoned on Friday, hours after being arrested by the police anti-terrorism unit.
The 59-year-old former congressman Christos Papas fled for nearly nine months, before a court sentenced him to 13 years in prison for joining a criminal gang.
He was arrested late Thursday along with a 52-year-old woman accused of helping and defecating a fugitive from a first-floor apartment in the suburbs of Athens. After a brief court appearance, the police took Papas to a high-security prison in central Greece.
Papas and 56 other Golden Dawn members were convicted last October, including party leader Nikos Michalaliakos and other former lawmakers. After five years of trial, a court ruled that the Golden Dawn party operated as a criminal organization responsible for the fatal stabbing of Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas in 2013 and the beatings of Egyptian fishermen and left-wing activists in 2012. 2013.
Before his disappearance, Pappas was released from pretrial custody after the period of up to 18 months in which he could be detained had expired. Pappas’ lawyer, Pericles Stavrianakis, told reporters that his client claimed he had been arrested while visiting the apartment and was not hiding there. He did not provide further details.
Golden Dawn was founded in the 1980s as a Nazi-inspired organization. A marginal group for many years, the group surged in popularity during the 2010-2018 financial crisis, when millions of Greeks struggled. They won national representation in four parliamentary elections from 2012 to 2019, making them the third most powerful party in the country.
“Greek democracy has struggled to get rid of this poison,” said government spokesman Aristotelia Peloni after Papas’ arrest. “The arrest of Christos Pappas ended this chapter of this criminal organization.”