Christos Pappas, the former deputy leader of the infamous Neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn, who was arrested in Athens late on Thursday, is being sent to a maximum security prison in central Greece.
Pappas, who had been second-in-charge of the now-defunct party, is now imprisoned at Domokos, where he is expected to serve out a sentence of 13 years and three months for running a criminal organization.
Pappas, 59, was ordered to carry out his sentence at the maximum-security penitentiary after appearing before a sentencing prosecutor in Athens on Friday.
Pappas will be joining former party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and other members of the neo-Nazi group that was ruled a criminal organization in a landmark trial last October.
“He wanted to surrender,” Pappas’ lawyer told the press on Friday.
Pappas was arrested on Thursday night in the Athens suburb of Zografou after he was located in the apartment of a woman who had run for local office in the 2019 elections with Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris.
His lawyer, Periklis Stavrianakis, said that Pappas claims he was only passing through at the time of his arrest and had not been living at the apartment, which has been under surveillance for around a week.
“I think he’s been in Athens the whole time,” Stavrianakis added.
Although police had put the party’s leadership under surveillance before the historic verdict, Pappas somehow was able to disappear.
Pappas last checked in with his local police station in the northern Athens suburb of Papagou on October 1, as he was obliged to do, but had not been seen since.
There was speculation that he may have escaped abroad or that he was hiding in some remote part of Greece — and protected by loyal followers.
Pappas was a close associate of Golden Dawn’s leader
Pappas served in the Greek Parliament from 2012 until 2019, being elected three times. In the last election in Greece on July 7, 2019, Golden Dawn did not garner enough votes to make it into the House.
A devout nationalist, Christos Pappas was the founder of Helioforos Publications, publishing books with extreme far-right nationalist content. He became a close associate of Golden Dawn’s chief Michaloliakos.
On September 29, 2013, he was remanded into custody on charges of directing a criminal organization, following the murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a Golden Dawn member.
In December of the same year, his application for release from prison was rejected. He was released on March 29, 2015, just eighteen months after his arrest.
In May Giannis Lagos, a convicted member of Greece’s Golden Dawn returned to Greece after Belgian authorities decided to extradite him from that country.
The judicial authorities of Belgium made the decision to extradite the MEP, who had earlier enjoyed legislative immunity in the European Parliament, back to Greece to face imprisonment.
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