Golden Dawn leaders orchestrated 2011 pogrom in Athens, lawyers say

(Author: Damian Mac Con Uladh, Enet, 01/09/2014)

Lawyers from the JailGoldenDawn initiative present fresh evidence for the involvement of Golden Dawn leaders in attacks in central Athens that resulted in at least 120 people being injured, 20 of them seriously, in May 2011.

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Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris on the streets in central Athens on May 12 (Photo: Epoca Libera)

New evidence has emerged pointing to the heavy involvement of leading Golden Dawn figures in orchestrating a pogrom against foreigners in central Athens in May 2011 which resulted in over a hundred people being injured and the death of one man, a group of lawyers has claimed.

Last week, the lawyers, members of the JailGoldenDawn initiative, said they had provided fresh evidence to the police’s antiracism department that showed that four individuals subsequently elected MPs for the neonazi party were “centrally involved” in organising the attacks.

The four – Ilias Kasidiaris, Ilias Panagiotaros, Panayiotis Iliopoulos and Stathis Boukouras – are currently being held on remand pending trial for directing a criminal organisation. The lawyers say that the May 2011 attacks must now be included in the case against the Golden Dawn leadership, which is scheduled to begin in December.

The orgy of violence followed the fatal stabbing of Manolis Kantaris on 10 May 2011. Kantaris was preparing to bring his pregnant wife to hospital to give birth when he was stabbed for his camera. Two Afghan nationals were subsequently tried and convicted of his murder.

The JailGoldenDawn lawyers said that on May 12, two days after Kantaris’ murder, records from the ambulance service (Ekas) show that eight foreigners with fractured heads were admitted to hospital in the space of three hours. Overall, at least 120 people were injured in the attacks, 20 of them seriously. Most of the attacks took place in broad daylight on busy streets.

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Two men, one of whom is holding a knife, chase a man through central Athens on May 12 (Photo: Ethnos newspaper)

Earlier that same day, 21-year-old Alim Abdul Manan from Bangladesh was fatally stabbed on a Kato Patisia street by a group of four individuals wearing black clothing. He was found wounded shortly after midnight and died later in hospital. No one has been brought to justice for his murder.

The new evidence contains statements from victims as well as photographs and video footage of the attacks and showing the presence of Golden Dawn leaders on the streets. The JailGoldenDawn lawyers say they had to appeal to the Supreme Court to open an investigation into the violence following Kantaris’ murder.

To date, only one Golden Dawn member has been convicted for his involvement in the events that followed Kantaris’ murder. Ilias Koliopoulos, who once stood the party in Arta, received a 12 month sentence for attacking an internet cafe belonging to an Afghan in Victoria Sq.

“The Greek police now has the names of the perpetrators and the victims of the pogrom. Any further delay in the indictment and arrest of the perpetrators can no longer (be seen as) passive, but as the active concealment of the racist violence unleashed and led by the neonazi construct,” Thanasis Kampagiannis and Kostas Skarmeas from the JailGoldenDawn initiative said in a statement.

“The instigators of the crimes committed are the prominent Golden Dawn leaders (Ilias) Kasidiaris and (Ilias) Panagiotaros, who should be indicted. Any further delays are the responsibility of Civil Protection Minister Vasilis Kikilias and the government itself”.

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