Evidence against Golden Dawn mounts as murder suspect is remanded in custody

Evidence against Golden Dawn mounts as murder suspect is remanded in custody

The Golden Dawn member who stabbed rapper Pavlos Fyssas to death on Tuesday night was remanded in custody on Saturday after telling a magistrate that he regretted killing the 34-year-old.

Girogos Roupakias’s appearance in a Piraeus courtroom came as Kathimerini learned that three former Golden Dawn members have notified authorities that they are willing to give evidence about how the neo-Nazi party operated and the criminal activity it was involved in.

One of the three has already spoken to the media anonymously and has described the strict chain of command within the party and the paramilitary nature of its activities, which included attacks on migrants and leftists. According to his allegations, party MPs and, ultimately, Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos approved any raids carried out by the group's so-called hit squads.

Roupakias, however, insisted on Saturday that he was not part of a group that attacked Fyssas and his friends in the neighborhood of Amfiali, near Piraeus. He claimed that he had been leaving a cafe in the area and was attacked as he attempted to get into his car. He said he used a knife to defend himself.

Witness statements contradict this claim, saying that Roupakias saw Fyssas being attacked, stopped his car, got out and stabbed him. Witnesses also report that another man was in the car with Roupakias but that he ran away as police arrived.

Roupakias also claimed that he had a “loose” association with Golden Dawn, which contradicts evidence given by his wife and photos of him at party events, which have been published since the murder. Police are also examining his phone records, which show he was contacted several times shortly before the stabbing.

“I’ve destroyed two households,” Roupakias, a father of two, is reported to have told the magistrate.

The government has decided to increase the legal pressure on Golden Dawn and is set to make adjustments to two articles of the criminal code. Article 187, which relates to criminal organizations, is likely to be made stricter so offenses carry a 10- to 20-year jail sentence. Article 195, relating to armed gangs, will carry jail terms of two to five years under the government’s plans.

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