The judicial authorities of Belgium made the decision to extradite the MEP, who had earlier enjoyed legislative immunity, back to Greece to face imprisonment, after their hearing this morning.
MEP’s had voted overwhelmingly to take away his parliamentary privilege in late April. Altogether, 693 European lawmakers voted on the issue, out of which 658 voted in favor of the lifting of immunity.
Lagos is an independent member of the European Parliament, based in Brussels. He still has until Monday to appeal the Belgian decision. However, if he elects to not contest the decision, he will arrive in Greece in 7-10 days.
The Brussels Prosecutor’s Office noted, however, that “for security reasons the date cannot be announced.”
Convicted and sentence in larges fascist trial since Nuremburg
Lagos had been convicted and sentenced, along with scores of other fascists, in October of 2020 for his part in leading the group, being a close confidante of Golden Dawn’s leader Nikos Michaloliakos. It was the largest trial of such groups since Nuremburg.
After he had received a prison term of 13 years and eight months, he left for Brussels to return to his position as an MEP. Greek judicial authorities had then sent a request to Brussels that his political immunity be lifted.
In Friday’s written statement, the Brussels prosecutor’s office said: “Following various questions regarding the European arrest warrant issued by the Greek judicial authorities against Ioannis Lagos, the Brussels Prosecutor’s Office can confirm the following:
“The Pre-Trial Chamber of the Dutch-speaking Court of First Instance in Brussels today ruled on the European arrest warrant for I.L. The European arrest warrant has been declared enforceable. The duration of the appeal (appeal) ends on Monday. For obvious security reasons, the delivery date cannot be announced. ”
Last Tuesday, the Belgian prosecutor had decided on the pre-trial detention of Lagos, until the Belgian justice could decides on the substance of his appeal, for non-execution of the European arrest warrant.
Arrested after Parliamentary immunity finally lifted
Just one day prior to that, Lagos had been arrested at his home in Brussels, following the European Parliament’s decision to lift his immunity.
Lagos, 48, left the Golden Dawn 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.