The report (pdf in Greek) that was submitted to the Court of Appeal today by the Prosecutor against Golden Dawn amounts to a landmark document – the most extensive compilation of the evidence amassed by prosecutors against the neo-fascist group that has been assembled to date.
The case is a multifaceted one as prosecutors are seeking to prove that Golden Dawn amounts to a criminal organization with an established para-military structure and a readiness to commit violent acts.
The report, which consists of almost 700 pages, contains a wealth of evidence that directly contradicts claims by the leadership of the group that it is not responsible for criminal acts perpetrated by its members, such as the fatal stabbing of Pavlos Fyssas and violent attacks on immigrants.
The prosecutor highlights overwhelming evidence that the structure of Golden Dawn is one with a high degree of central control over its branches and local offices, and that the leadership of the group explicitly or implicitly ordered the murderous acts perpetrated by its members and attack squads.
Taken together it paints a convincing picture of a group seeking to use violence to obtain and keep power, subvert the democratic process and eliminate its opponents or terrorize them into submission.
Below are a few key points from the report.
Michaloliakos as Fuhrer
The General Secretary of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, holds a position of ultimate power over the group which has a military style hierarchy according to the report. He is seen as party followers as an almost metaphysical being who is ‘destined’ to lead the party and ultimately Greece.
Golden Dawn members swear oaths of unquestioning loyalty to him and commitment to ‘victory or death’ in secretive ceremonies which have mystical elements, taking place, for example, frequently at the summer and winter solstices.
In a document titled ‘Hierarchy – Structure of Golden Dawn’ found on the computer of Michaloliakos’s daughter, Ourania, the General Secretary of the party is described as having power that is absolute, unlimited and unquestionable.
The document writes, “We hope to one day make the Greek State functional like Golden Dawn is, where the will of the leader is imposed and implemented immediately without exception and without hesitation.”
Another key document found on a computer hard drive makes the cult of personality around Michaloliakos even clearer:
He is the man, the Ascendant, who will sweep away with his presence whatever is rotten and tormenting the Greek nation.”
“The meaning of the Leader – Guide in our ideology takes on a metaphysical scope. We define as a metaphysical scope the unquestioning faith of all Golden Dawners that our Leader is the Person who will lead our ideology to the Final Victory against the forces of darkness that are working for the death of Hellenism and who will lead the whole country to the creation of a Third Hellenistic Civilization which we all dream of… He is the man, the Ascendant, who will sweep away with his presence whatever is rotten and tormenting the Greek nation.”
Golden Dawn is a deeply violent organization with a military structure
The report contains evidence that Golden Dawn is by design a fundamentally violent organization, with a paramilitary structure consisting of local ‘attack squads’ over which the leadership has total control.
The murder of Pavlos Fyssas is described in intricate detail. Prosecutors describe how members of the attack squad in Nikaia were notified by text message to assemble. Soon afterwards the group of motorcycles tracked Fyssas and his friends down in the street and set upon them in a brawl that led to Fyssas's death. They paint a picture where Roupakias, the man who fatally stabbed Fyssas, far from acting alone was acting in an organized group and in a planned attack on orders that came from high up the chain of command.
Prosecutors maintain that the attack squads are a fundamental part of the leadership's strategy. They cite, for example, a speech given by the party leader Nikos Michaloliakos on the 26th of August 2012 in Thermopylae during which he said:
“You are the attack squads.. I inform you that we are not enjoying our time in Parliament at all. We feel awkward in there, we feel sick and disgusted. If they want we will abandon it at any point and come out in the streets. They will see then what Golden Dawn means… They will see then what ‘Attack Squad’ means. What battle means, what fight means, what it means for bayonets to be sharpened on the pavement.”
In an earlier pre-election speech on the 6th of July 2011 (before GD entered parliament for the first time) Michaloliakos said:
“I have great respect for what existed in Hitler’s Germany…We believe in the country and not democracy. If the country is to be saved let democracy go to hell… what have you gained from the democrats? How could the fascists be worse for you?”
I have great respect for what existed in Hitler’s Germany
Michaloliakos is also repeatedly quoted as saying ‘traitors’ must be executed and shown no mercy and that the organization must be ready to get ‘its hands dirty’.
Other MPs and influential party officials are also repeatedly demonstrated to share Michaloliakos’s sentiments.
The Golden Dawn party spokesperson Ilias Kasidiaris in April 2013 on the nature of Golden Dawn:
“Our rallies and events are not events of a political party. In no way do we see it that way, that we are politicians. They are more reminiscent of displays by a military unit.”
And in a November 2012 speech on what it means for the party to be in parliament:
“Leave aside ‘parliamentarian’ and ‘parliamentarianisms’. We haven’t liked that for years. We don’t want that at all. Of course, we make use of some of the privileges of an MP. We now carry guns with licenses and we can’t be summarily tried [under the ‘aftoforo process’] if there is any sort of incident. So we can move a little more easily.”
‘We have 100 ready to fall if we are banned’
The report also contains a shocking recorded phone conversation between Sotiris Develekos, said to be a member of the party’s central committee and Michaloliakos’s aide and driver, and a woman identified as ‘Marina’. It further highlights the party’s aggressive nature.
“Because I had a talk with someone, shall we say serious, and we – if they want to make us illegal and let them listen in, the cunts, for them to know - we have fifty to a hundred individuals, who are willing to fall. They’ve got these motherfuckers ready to fall… Let’s say that if they want to play the game like men, we have 100 motherfuckers in all of Greece, 100 madmen who are determined to fall. Do they have 10?”