Three lawyers present information that they say points to ‘long-term penetration of and activities of the Nazi criminal gang’ of Golden Dawn within the secret services and the police.
Enough indications exist of a close relationship between Golden Dawn and elements in the state apparatus, specifically the secret service and police, to warrant an investigation, three lawyers involved in serious criminal cases against Golden Dawn have claimed.
In a statement, the lawyers – Takis Zotos, Thanasis Kampayiannis and Evgenia Kouniaki – call on the authorities to fully investigate the allegations of links between the neonazi party and the National Intelligence Service (EYP) and the police.
Zotos and Kampayiannis are involved in the case of Shehzad Luqman, the 27-year-old Pakistani migrant worker fatally stabbed in January. Two Golden Dawn supporters have been charged with his murder.
Kouniaki is involved in the trial of three Golden Dawn members accused of stabbing an Afghan man in September 2011. One of the accused is Themis Skordeli, Golden Dawn’s leading official in a central Athens district. Her trial has been postponed eight times, on the strengh of psychological reports provided by a fellow Golden Dawn member who is employed as a psychiatrist in a state hospital.
In a statement, the three lawyers raise the following points:
1. The director of EYP’s third counter-intelligence division, Dimos Kouzilos, who was responsible for telephone surveillance of Golden Dawn, was forced to resign on 27 September over, what the media claimed, links to that party. The lawyers say that neither EYP nor the public order ministry have issued a statement clarifying why Kouzilos had to go. They also point out that on the morning he was dismissed, he chaired a meeting on the state’s moves against the party.
2. According to press reports, Dimos Kouzilos is a relative of Nikos Kouzilos, Golden Dawn’s MP for the central Piraeus constituency and the party’s spokesman for shipping issues. Golden Dawn, on its website, claims that Kouzilos was sacked from his position after disagreeing with the public order ministry’s decision to “monitor a legitimate political party”.
3. Kouzilos’ appointment in 2012 even caused reactions from government coalition partners Pasok and Democratic Left (Dimar) and main opposition party Syriza. In a parliamentary question tabled in December 2012, Syriza and Dimar MPs questioned whether recent EYP appointments, including Kouzilos’, had been carried out on the basis of meritocracy. Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias responded by saying that “the appointment of Greek police officers to EYP was made after they were selected by EYP’s director general”.
4. EYP’s director general was then and remains Theodoros Dravillas, a confidante of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, former general secretary of the culture ministry under Samaras, and former deputy director of his New Democracy party. Dravillas was appointed head of EYP in July 2012, following the installation of the new government. The lawyers also note that the two deputy director generalships were given to Samaras associates: Panayiotis Kontoulis, a lawyer, and Yiorgos Kamarinopoulos, former chairman of the Attica Police Officers Association and the Panhellenic Federation of Police Officers. Both are from Samaras’ native prefecture and constituency of Mesinia. The lawyers say the appointments were viewed as favoritism in the media.
5. Kouzilos had previously served in the Attica drugs squad, the antiquities division and, most recently, was director of the new financial police. He was then seconded to EYP, to take up a position once held by Yannis Dikopoulos, who once served with him in the Attica drugs squad. As a lieutenant general, Dikopoulos was forced to resign as inspector general of police for southern Greece on September 23, following the “negligent investigation” of the Golden Dawn offices in Halkida, Evia.
6. In the summer of 2005, Kouzilos (in a subordinate position) and Dikopoulos (as head) were both serving in EYP’s third counter-intelligence division when EYP was accused of organising the kidnapping of 20 Pakistani immigrants living in Greece at the request of the British intelligence services on suspicion of involvement in the July 2005 terrorist attacks on the London underground. Among those abducted was the chairman of the Pakistani community in Greece, Javed Aslam.
7. According to some sources, Kouzilos maintained contacts with officers in Piraeus who are now under investigation for having links with Golden Dawn. These press reports claim that the head of Nikea police station, Dimitris Giovandis, tipped Golden Dawn off about police work and himself participated in criminal activity. The lawyers point out that the Golden Dawn official accused of directing the party’s illegal activity in Piraeus is MP Yiannis Lagos. As far back as 2011, EYP secret reports claimed Lagos was involved in protection rackets, extortion, trafficking and prostitution, but no action was ever taken.
The lawyers said: “We believe that this information provides an overview of the long-term penetration of and activities of the Nazi criminal gang within the EYP and the police.”
They say that even though the Supreme Court prosecutor investigating Golden Dawn. Haralambos Vourliotis, obtained much of his information from EYP, mainly from EYP’s third counter-intelligence division, they have “good reason to believe” that the agency may have more information but that this could have been concealed by Golden Dawn “collaborators and informers” within the state apparatus.
They call for full and independent access to be provided to EYP’s archives in order to fully investigate Golden Dawn’s crimes.