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Golden Dawn cases to be investigated as actions of criminal gang

Public order minister sends case files to Supreme Court prosecutor

Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias asks that 32 cases since June 2012 be investigated as the continuous acts of a criminal organisation under article 187 of the penal code

Golden Dawn members stand around a stage during a rally in Athens, 2 February 2013 (Reuters) Golden Dawn members stand around a stage during a rally in Athens, 2 February 2013 (Reuters) The case files of 32 incidents involving Golden Dawn members are to be investigated using legislation designed to combat criminal gangs, the public order minister announced on Thursday.

In a letter to Supreme Court chief prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani, Nikos Dendias requested that 13 cases from Athens and 19 from other parts of the country be investigated as the continuous acts of a criminal organisation under article 187 of the penal code.

All cases pursued under the article are automatically treated as criminal cases, even if they were originally classed as misdemeanours, for which the punishments are higher.

The first case dates from 6 June 2012 and involves an attack by 25 Golden Dawn members on a man in Veria and the last concerns the murder of Pavlos Fyssas in Athens in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Among the cases is a September 2012 incident when a Golden Dawn gang, led by two MPs, attacked non-Greek street traders at a local festival.

Dendias told reporters that as the constitution does not allow for the banning of political parties, "everyone will now be taken before the courts and this will reverse the activities of this particular party".
 

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