Former Golden Dawn MEP may have his European immunity waivered for tearing Turkish flag

Giannis Lagos former of Golden Dawn

The President of the European Parliament announced that immunity for a former Golden Dawn Member of the European Parliament could be waivered.

Giannis Lagos, a former Golden Dawn member but now an independent in the European Parliament, could have his immunity waivered in the aftermath of the Far-Right group being recognized as a criminal organization, said European Parliament President David Sassoli at the beginning of a Plenary Session when responding to a request from Greek authorities.

Former Golden Dawn MEP Giannis Lagos
Former Golden Dawn MEP Giannis Lagos in court.

However, it must be noted that Lagos' immunity is not being investigated for being a former member of Golden Dawn as the case is still ongoing and not finalized.

The most likely reason his immunity might be waivered according to sources is for tearing the Turkish flag in the European Parliament.

Sassoli informed the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament to consider the issue.

Lagos ripped the Turkish flag in January during a debate over the humanitarian drama that was unfolding in Greece because of the migrant crisis.

The MEP says his action was in protest over what he saw as Turkey’s complicity in and fueling of the crisis.

Greece’s Foreign Affairs Ministry at the time issued a statement condemning the Greek MEP’s action saying that “Neo-Nazis represent only themselves.”

“Greece categorically condemns any action that desecrates a national symbol – in this case the national symbol of Turkey. The unacceptable actions of representatives of neo-Nazism deviate from Greek and European tradition and constitute attempts at self-promotion by Golden Dawn, an organisation that is under indictment and that Greek society voted out of Parliament," the statement said.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Adamantia Economou recommended yesterday that all former Golden Dawn Members of Parliament that were convicted and sentenced to prison for being members of a criminal organization should remain out of prison until their appeal has been heard.

Economou said that none of the eligible former Golden Dawn members were a flight risk or at risk of re-offending and that most had clean criminal records until their current conviction.

"The immediate execution of the sentences will cause irreparable damage as the procedure to the appeals court will be a long one," the prosecutor said. "They have all the conditions for their sentences to be suspended with conditions. The accused have not tried to avoid arrest."


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