Greece: arrest of Christos Pappas, one of the founders of the Golden Dawn

The deputy leader of the Greek neo-Nazi party “Golden Dawn”, who has been on the wanted list since October, Christos Pappas, has been arrested in the Athenian region of Zografu.

According to leading Greek media outlets, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison last October, when other Golden Dawn leaders were convicted of leading a criminal organization, but avoided arrest for several months. Christos Pappas was considered the leading ideologue of the organization and is known for his obsession with Nazism.

AFP, referring to a source in the police department, reported the detention of Pappas in the Athenian district of Zografu, in the house where he has lived recently. The official statement to the police did not reveal his name. It is only reported that the 59-year-old man was arrested by counter-terrorism officers and will appear before the prosecutor today, Friday. Together with him, a 52-year-old woman was arrested, according to some sources, a Ukrainian woman who hid him all this time.

Pappas’s lawyer has yet to comment on the event. In October, when his client refused to surrender, he stated that his client was avoiding arrest as he was awaiting an appeal overturn.

Pappas is one of the founders of Golden Dawn and was a close friend of the leader of the organization. Known for his photographs against the background of the Nazi flag and videos of him teaching minors to greet Hitler. The peak of the organization’s popularity fell on the period of 2012, when a severe economic crisis broke out in Greece. However, her connection to attacks on left-wing activists and immigrants was not favored by many.

After the murder of the anti-fascist rapper in 2013 by supporters of the Golden Dawn, law enforcement agencies began to investigate the party’s activities. During a search in Pappas’ house, Nazi flags with a swastika and bottles with the image of Benito Mussolini were found. However, Christos Pappas managed to avoid arrest at the beginning of the investigation.

The trial in the Golden Dawn case lasted for 5 long years. In October last year, 68 defendants, including Pappas, received various types of punishment. Party supporters staged riots near the courthouse: stones, flares and Molotov cocktails flew at the police, in response the guards used water cannons and tear gas.

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