Yannis Lagos, the European Parliament lawmaker who was convicted for his membership in the now defunct Golden Dawn Party in Greece, is expected to land in Athens on Saturday afternoon.
The former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) was convicted for being a leader of the criminal organization Golden Dawn, which has been found responsible for multiple violent crimes, including the murder of rapper Pavlos Flyssas.
Extradition from Brussels
Lagos was convicted by a Greek court in October for his part in the fascist organization, but fled to Belgium before he could be taken into custody.
Due to his status as an MEP, he held parliamentary immunity, meaning that normally he could not be arrested in Brussels. However, the European Parliament voted to waive Lagos’ immunity in April, allowing for his arrest on a European warrant and subsequent extradition to Greece.
Belgium accepted the extradition request on Tuesday, and Lagos did not appeal the decision. Greek police officers will fly to Brussels before Lagos travels in order to escort him during his flight to Athens.
He is then likely to be transported to a prison on Sunday to serve his sentence.
Golden Dawn convictions
Eighteen former Golden Dawn lawmakers and a total of 50 members of the neo-Nazi party were found guilty in October in the largest trial of a fascist organization since Nuremburg. Thirty-eight of those men were sentenced to serve prison time.
Lagos and the other leaders of the party have each been sentenced to 13 years in prison. This sentence was upheld by a Greek court last October, as it overruled an earlier recommendation by the public prosecutor that the sentences should be suspended pending appeal.
Suspended sentences were issued for only 12 of the 50 total 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.
The defendants were involved in multiple crimes committed by the party, which had two representatives elected into the Greek Parliament from 2012 to 2019.
The party was subsequently ruled a criminal organization which systematically attacked migrants and leftists, among others. One of the most well-known crimes committed by Golden Dawn was the 2013 lethal stabbing of Pavlos Fyssas, a popular anti-fascist rapper whose death triggered the group’s unraveling.
Members of the organization were also found guilty of an attack on an Egyptian fisherman during the same court proceedings.
Prior to the party being ruled a criminal organization, Lagos had already received an eight-month suspended sentence in 2019 for instigating an attack on a community center and its director, Panagiotis Drimilis, in Athens. The assault was perpetrated by a gang of twenty Golden Dawn members.
Another leading member of the former party, Christos Pappas, remains on the lam after his conviction.
The majority of the other party leaders have who have been sentenced to prison were sent to Domokos Prison, although it is unclear at present where Lagos will be serving his time.