A Greek court upheld its ruling to sentence the leaders of the criminal organization Golden Dawn to 13 years in prison, overruling an earlier recommendation by the public prosecutor that the sentences should be suspended pending appeal.
Following the ruling, Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos and five other leading members, including Christos Pappas, Ilias Kasidiaris, Giorgos Germenis, Ilias Panagiotaros and Artemis Matthaiopoulos will be formally arrested and put in prison.
MEP Ioannis Lagos, the seventh member of the group of Golden Dawn leaders, is currently in Brussels.
Among those going to prison are Giorgos Roupakias, who was sentenced to life for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, and his 14 accomplices, as well as the heads of two local chapters of the party, Giorgos Patelis and Anastasios Pantazis.
In total, the court has ruled that 38 of the 50 defendants found guilty will go to prison, among which are 13 former MPs in the Greek Parliament.
In a statement to the press outside his home in Athens, minutes after the ruling, Michaloliakos said he “was proud to be jailed for his ideas.” He added that “in the future, some would be ashamed for making such a decision.”
Suspended sentences were issued for only 12 of the total 50 defendants found guilty of belonging to the criminal organization. Among these were former MPs Michail Arvanitis, Eleni Zaroulia, Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos, Stathis Boukouras and Dimitris Koukoutsis.