After a trial lasting more than five years, the leadership of Far-Right political party Golden Dawn were found guilty of operating as a criminal organisation, in the aftermath of the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, an anti-fascist rapper.
Large crowds gathered outside the court in Athens, as the judges gave verdicts to 68 defendants.
Leaving the courthouse, Magda Fyssa, the mother of murdered anti-fascist musician Pavlos Fyssas, shouted that “today is a history victory,” following the verdict. She had attended most of the hearing’s 453 sessions.
“Pavlos did it. My son!” she screamed with emotion. It was the moment Fyssa had been awaiting for more than five years.
— Nina Reizi (@ninarei) October 7, 2020
“Democracy has won today. We owe it to Pavlos. (…) For everything- his blood and his life he lost. That he endured. Let’s not forget that,” Fyssa concluded.
The court adjourned at 23.20 on Wednesday night and will continue on Thursday at 12.30.
The President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said the verdict was an important day for democracy and proof that Greek institutions were able to “fend off any attempt to undermine them”.
It is an important day for democracy. Εxtreme political violence is alien to our long democratic tradition. The conviction of Golden Dawn confirms our institutions’ strength against any attempt to undermine them.
— President GR (@PresidencyGR) October 7, 2020
Το ναζιστικό μόρφωμα, μετά τις κάλπες, καταδικάστηκε και στο δικαστήριο. Απόδειξη της δύναμης που εκπέμπει το κοινοβουλευτικό πολίτευμα και η διάκριση των εξουσιών. Η ενότητα, η αλήθεια και η ομαλότητα.
Η Δημοκρατία σήμερα νίκησε. Είναι στο χέρι όλων μας να νικά καθημερινά. pic.twitter.com/AQvTNqx3LR
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) October 7, 2020
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he would not normally comment on court decisions but said the verdict “ends a traumatic cycle” in the country’s public life.
“(It’s) a truly historic day for Greece, democracy, and the rule of law,” he tweeted following a televised address. “After the Greek people voted the neo-Nazi party of Golden Dawn out of Parliament in the last election, today the Greek justice system convicted its leadership of operating as a criminal organization.”
“Democracy won today. It is up to all of us to win every day,” he concluded.