The lawyers representing the victims of violent attacks allegedly perpetrated by members of the Golden Dawn party have stressed the importance of the civil proceedings in the trial of the neo-Nazi group at a press conference.
The leadership of Golden Dawn have been imprisoned pending their trial on charges related to operating a criminal organization. The violent attacks which were primarily directed at immigrants and members of minority communities are among the criminal activities prosecutors say were directed from the highest levels of the organization.
The lawyers requested that the trial commence as soon as possible, noting that their contribution will be to reveal the truth around the attacks. They also issued a call for members of leftwing parties, workers unions and student organizations to be present at the trial so that the victims are not afraid to testify.
The legal team stressed Golden Dawn had perpetrated significantly more attacks than were included in the casefile, stating that the neo-fascists had begun their campaign of violence before the time-period referred to by the state prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos in his report.
While the prosecutor’s report details numerous alleged crimes over 700 pages, the lawyers were critical of his handling of the case, arguing that he had been too lenient. They argue that the leadership of Golden Dawn should be tried on charges of operating a terrorist organization, as opposed to a criminal gang, under stricter anti-terrorism legislation.
Takis Zotos, a member of the legal team, stated that the central line of defense of Golden Dawn’s leadership was to avoid being charged and convicted of operating criminal organization. He said that the party "would not hesitate to sell out its members in light of this goal,” implying that the leadership of Golden Dawn would seek to portray the violent attacks as the doings of rogue elements within the party. Zotos also argued that prior to the crackdown triggered by the anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, the party “had the support and complicity of basic organs of the state.”
The lawyer Kostas Papadakis stressed the need for the party to be held account for its criminal actions and that, “we don’t seek for anyone to be convicted because of their ideas.”
Javed Aslam, the head of ‘I Enotita’, a group representing Pakistani Community in Greece, claimed that among Pakistanis there were 700 victims of Golden Dawn attacks, which had also targeted the Bangladeshi and Arabic communities. He characterized Golden Dawn as a ‘terrorist party’ and stated that the government and the police were responsible for having turned a blind eye to Golden Dawn’s activities.
Thanasis Kabayiannis, a lawyer and member of the JailGoldenDawn legal team which is bringing the civil suits to court stressed that the lawyers working on the case were doing so pro bono as most of the victims could not afford legal counsel. He stated that, “the only source of funds for the civil suit will be donations from the public.” He requested that journalists publicize the account details where members of the public can send money to support the effort:
Ethinki Bank: Account number: 167/470832-65
IBAN: GR78 0110 1670 0000 1674 7083 265
SWIFT code - BIC ETHNGRAA