Jailed leader of Greek far-right Golden Dawn party released on parole

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The convicted leader and founder of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party, Nikos Mihaloliakos, has been released from prison on parole, four years into a sentence of 13-and-a-half years.

Mihaloliakos, 66, and other members of Golden Dawn were sentenced in 2020 following a high-profile, five-year trial. He was convicted of operating a criminal organisation that posed as a political party, as well as for crimes ranging from violent attacks on immigrants, to weapons offences and the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas in 2013.

The convicted leader, who was often seen giving Nazi-style salutes at party gatherings, has been at home since Wednesday, a police source said.

FILE – Nikos Michaloliakos, the jailed leader of the extreme far-right Golden Dawn political party speaks during a pre-election rally, in Athens, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Photo: AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File.

His request for parole was approved by a board of judges, who took into account his prison labour and health issues, an official at Greece’s citizen protection ministry told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Mihaloliakos’ parole restrictions include a ban on travelling outside the greater Athens area and an obligation to regularly check in with a police station near his house, the semi-state Athens News Agency reported.

According to Ekathimerini, the Lamia Court of Appeals Prosecutor intends to appeal the decision of the Lamia Misdemeanor Court, which granted conditional release to Michaloliakos.

Golden Dawn entered the Greek parliament in 2012 at the peak of Greece’s debt crisis, seizing on public anger over painful austerity. The party, however, failed to win a single parliamentary seat in 2019 elections that brought the conservative New Democracy party to power.

Source: Ekathimerini

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