The Greek Police on Friday turned over to the counterterrorism service the investigation of the Tuesday night murder of 34-year-old hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas by a supporter of the ultra-right Golden Dawn as a new round of anti-fascist rallies were held across Attica.
The probe was handed to the force’s anti-terror squad on the orders of Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, as its officers have the necessary skills to investigate the telephone calls that are believed to have led up to the attack.
According to sources, Giorgos Roupakias, the 45-year-old murder suspect, made six calls from his cell phone and received one call between 11 p.m. and midnight on Tuesday. Fyssas was stabbed twice, in the chest and heart, shortly after midnight on Tuesday. A source at the Public Order Ministry told Kathimerini that police know the identities of six male suspects that Roupakias is believed to have telephoned that night and that their homes have been searched. According to the same source, the one call Roupakias received was from the head of Golden Dawn’s Nikaia office.
Police raided that office a few hours after the murder and found an extendable truncheon that Roupakias’s wife originally told police she had thrown out of the couple’s home after hearing of her husband’s arrest. She and Roupakias’s cousin, who made similar claims, have been charged with making a false statement.
Roupakias is to respond to murder charges before an investigating magistrate in Piraeus this morning. In the nearby suburb of Nikaia anti-fascist demonstrators and local shipyard workers are to hold a demonstration to protest Fyssas’s murder and a planned food handout in Nikaia by Golden Dawn. It remained unclear Friday whether Golden Dawn would go ahead with the handout, for native Greeks alone, at the scheduled time of 11 a.m. Unions said they would turn out at 10 a.m. to avert the initiative.
On Friday night, anti-fascist protests were held in Dafni, southeastern Athens, and in Pangrati, near the city center, and were reportedly peaceful apart from once incident, in Dafni, when a police special guard, who had been off duty, fired three times into the air after reportedly being pursued by a crowd of 30 protesters. The officer was arrested and no injuries were reported.
Dendias on Friday ordered Golden Dawn deputies to be stripped of the police guards to which all MPs are entitled. The measure had been imposed once last September, after two deputies were linked to violent attacks on immigrants but was partially revoked due to “security concerns,” a source said.