Greek Former Neo-Nazi MEP Arrested In Brussels

Former leaders of the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party were arrested in Belgium on Tuesday, hours after the European Parliament lifted the immunity, according to Greek police.

Police sources confirmed to AFP that MEP Ioani Slagos was arrested in Brussels under an international arrest warrant serving a 13-year sentence in Greece.

An independent MEP previously tweeted, “I’m in a Belgian police car … in jail.”

State news agency ANA said Lagos is in the process of being handed over to Greece.

A 48-year-old former night club bouncer, along with other leaders and members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party, was convicted in October on several charges, including the operation of a criminal organization.

But the court’s ruling cannot be enforced until Monday night, when EU lawmakers overwhelmingly approved Lagos’s deprivation of MEP immunity in a secret ballot, with 658 opposed and only 25 opposed. was.

Lagos was elected to the European Parliament in 2019 with a Golden Dawn ticket, just before he went into exile just a few weeks later.

The Golden Dawn top brass marathon trial, including founder and long-term leader Nikolaos Michoriacos, was considered one of the most important in Greek modern political history.

A former night club bouncer was convicted in October on several charges, including the operation of a criminal organization.

In total, more than 50 defendants have been convicted of crimes ranging from running criminal organizations, murders, assaults to illegal weapons possession.

Prison conditions closed the surprising dip in 2015, the third most popular party in the country.

The crackdown was triggered by the late-night killing of 34-year-old anti-fascist rapper Pablos Fisas, who was stabbed in front of a cafe in Keratsini, a suburb of western Athens, in September 2013.

Lagos was the local commander of the golden dawn in the area where Fisas was murdered.

“Nothing would have been done without Lagos’ approval. There is no chance,” the victim’s mother, Magda, told the court during the trial.

Other crimes committed in areas monitored by Lagos included assaults on Egyptian fishermen and Communist Party members in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

The majority of people convicted of Mihaloriacos are already behind the bar, but Golden Dawn’s deputy leader Christos Pappas is currently on the run.

Greek media reports that Papas may be hiding somewhere on the Balkan Peninsula in the guise of a monk.

Taking advantage of anti-austerity and anti-immigrant anger during Greece’s decade of debt crisis, Golden Dawn won 18 seats in parliament in 2012, with provocative and aggressive behavior repeatedly in the chamber of commerce. I shocked the place.

It became even more influential in 2015, but began to decline as group crimes began to be revealed in trial testimony.

The party failed to win a single seat in the final parliamentary elections in 2019.

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