ATHENS, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Athens Appeals Court sentenced on Wednesday seven of current and former leaders of the far-right Golden Dawn party (GD-Chryssi Avghi) to 13 years in jail for overrunning a criminal organization and dozens of others to various sentences for participating in the gang.
In a unanimous ruling on Oct. 7, the court had ruled that the GD party, which was represented in parliament in the period 2012-2019, was a criminal organization "wearing the cloak of a political party."
GD leader Nikos Michaloliakos and other six former legislators, who were found guilty of establishing and running a criminal gang last week, were sentenced on Wednesday to 13 years in prison after the judges heard defense lawyers for several days on their clients' extenuating circumstances.
The court ruled that the party's leadership was not eligible for leniency. Among them was Ioannis Lagos, a former GD MP, who is currently serving as an independent member of the European parliament.
Another 11 former MPs were among dozens found guilty of participating in this criminal gang and were sentenced to fewer years in prison.
A total of 68 defendants stood trial and 57 were found guilty on charges ranging from murder to extortion and illegal weapons possession in the period 2008-2013. GD's leadership and members were linked to dozens of assaults against migrants and political opponents.
The fatal stabbing of Pavlos Fyssas, a 34-year-old Greek anti-fascist activist musician, by Yorgos Roupakias, a GD supporter, at a Piraeus port suburb in autumn 2013, sent shockwaves across the country and triggered a judicial crackdown on Golden Dawn.
Roupakias and the other 15 defendants were found guilty of murder and as accomplices. Roupakias was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday. Enditem