ATHENS — A convicted Greek neo-Nazi and member of the European Parliament was extradited again to Greece on Saturday to serve a 13-year jail time period for his half in working the felony group Golden Daybreak, as soon as Greece’s third-largest political get together.
Ioannis Lagos arrived in Athens on a flight from Brussels, the seat of the European Parliament, the place he has sat as an impartial since 2019. The parliament’s lawmakers stripped him of his immunity on the finish of final month.
Greek state tv aired footage of the handcuffed 48-year-old being escorted off a aircraft and right into a van on the Athens Worldwide Airport by armed officers of the Greek police’s counterterrorism unit. Shortly afterward he was rushed by the again entrance of the capital’s courtroom complicated.
“For orthodoxy and Greece, each sacrifice is worth it,” he advised reporters.
Mr. Lagos was a number one member of the extreme-right and now-defunct Golden Daybreak, which rose to prominence in Greece’s Parliament in 2012 on the peak of the nation’s monetary disaster. He was amongst dozens of former legislators and supporters of the get together convicted in a landmark verdict final October.
After the nation’s most high-profile political trial in many years, a Greek courtroom dominated that the get together had operated as a felony group, systematically launching violent assaults in opposition to migrants and leftist critics. A complete of 13 of the get together’s former lawmakers got jail phrases, together with one other outstanding member Christos Pappas, who stays at massive.
Mr. Lagos fled to Brussels instantly after the decision, profiting from the immunity he was afforded as a member of Europe’s Parliament. Efforts by the Parliament to carry his immunity had been delayed by the pandemic.
Beginning as an obscure far-right group with a penchant for utilizing neo-Nazi symbols and oratory in Eighties, Golden Daybreak was propelled into the political mainstream a decade in the past, fueled by public discontent in opposition to austerity measures imposed by Greece’s worldwide collectors and an inflow of migrants.
Casting itself as a patriotic and anti-establishment pressure, it was a pressure in Greece’s Parliament from 2012 to 2019, turning into the third-largest get together at its prime. Nevertheless it discreetly maintained hyperlinks with neo-fascist events in Europe and america.
Its decline was precipitated by the homicide of the leftist musician Pavlos Fyssas in 2013 by a member of Golden Daybreak, Giorgos Roupakias.
That killing led to the arrest of the whole get together management and a judicial investigation, prompting a five-year trial that put most of its politicians and dozens of supporters behind bars. A notable exception is Mr. Pappas, the get together’s No. 2, who stays at massive.
Like many different members of Golden Daybreak, Mr. Lagos has insisted that the case in opposition to him is politically motivated and that he’s being persecuted for his views, not his actions.
The extradition of Mr. Lagos was welcomed by Greece’s center-right authorities.
“Greek democracy strived and eradicated the poisonous poison of Golden Daybreak,” stated Aristotelia Peloni, a authorities spokeswoman. “Rule of legislation stood sturdy in opposition to the criminals, and the judiciary gave its reply with its rulings.”