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Greek Golden Dawn MEP Stripped of Immunity by EU Parliament Committee

Golden Dawn
Ioannis Lagos was an MP for Golden Dawn before moving to the European Parliament.

The European Parliament’s legal affairs committee voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to lift immunity for Greek MEP Ioannis Lagos, a former member of neo-fascist Golden Dawn party.

Lagos was sentenced by a Greek court in October 2020 for his part in leading the group, being a close confidante of Golden Dawn’s leader Nikos Michaloliakos.

He received a prison term of 13 years and eight months. Greek judicial authorities sent a request to Brussels that his political immunity be lifted.

Next week, the European Parliament will vote in the Plenary Session on the lifting of his immunity, which is the final stage of this several-month-long process.

This decision paves the way for the imprisonment of Lagos, who remains free in Brussels six months after the court ruling of his imprisonment due to his immunity as a Member of the European Parliament.

Lagos, 48, left the neo-Nazi party in July of 2019 claiming disagreement with certain political moves of the party. He is currently an independent member of the European Parliament.

The Greek MEP was already penalized by President of the European Parliament David Sassoli after tearing up the Turkish flag in the House during a speech on illegal migration in January.

Lagos’ salary has already been reduced substantially since the flag-ripping incident as well. The MEP receives only his salary of 6,000 euros a month and none of the other compensations.

According to European Parliament regulations, he will continue to receive the MEP salary, without extra compensations, even during his prison stay, until the Supreme Court decision is finalized.

Golden Dawn convictions

Lagos served as a member of the Greek Parliament from 2012 until 2019, elected on the Golden Dawn ticket.

In July of 2019 he was elected to the European Parliament, only days after he announced that he would sit as an Independent.

The nationalist politician was arrested and detained twice on charges of forming a criminal organization.

In the past he has been charged with extortion, pandering, protection racket practices, illegal possession of firearms and other felonies.

Lagos was also charged as an abettor in the murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas in September of 2013, which led to his conviction, along with the rest of the Golden Dawn leaders, on October 7 of last year.

After the largest trial against a fascist group since Nuremberg, an Athens court convicted members of the far-right neo-Nazi political party Golden Dawn of operating a criminal organization in a historic decision.

The Greek court handed down sentences to the 57 people convicted in the trial of running a criminal organization and for the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas.

Top Golden Dawn members, including Lagos, founder Michaloliakos, and Ilias Kasidiaris (now leader of the Greeks for the Fatherland Party) received 13-year prison sentences.

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