Giorgos Patelis, a former member of the Neo-Nazi political party/criminal organization Golden Dawn, was granted parole on Monday after serving just one year of a ten-year prison sentence for being an accessory to murder.
Patelis was convicted on charges of accessory to murder for ordering a group of Golden Dawn supporters to attack and kill Greek rapper and anti-fascist activist Pavlos Fyssas, also known as Killah P. The group stabbed Fyssas to death.
The Greek Appeals Court, which is made up of five members, granted Patelis parole, stating that he was a “model prisoner” and that it was unlikely the criminal would commit crimes in the future, as his illegal acts were committed under the specific environment cultivated by Golden Dawn.
Granting Patelis parole aligns with the recommendations of the prosecutor, who suggested that his movements be restricted, which would include reporting to a local police station regularly and a ban on leaving the country, instead of prison time.
Patelis petitioned the court for parole earlier this year on the same grounds, but was rejected.
The former member of the Neo-Nazi party served as head of their wing in the Athenian neighborhood of Nikaia and was influential in the nearby port city of Piraeus.
He was known to give orders for attacks and other crimes conducted by members of the Golden Dawn party. Members of the criminal organization were known to harass and attack immigrants and anti-fascist activists.
Historic Golden Dawn trial
Eighteen former Golden Dawn lawmakers and a total of 50 members of the neo-Nazi party were found guilty in October 2020 in the largest trial of a far-right organization since Nuremberg, after WWII.
Thirty-eight of those men were sentenced to serve prison time.
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 that systematically attacked innocent refugees, migrants, and people of the left-wing ideology, 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.