The alleged leader of Golden Dawn’s Piraeus chapter was remanded in custody on Friday after several hours of testimony before three investigating magistrates handling a probe into accusations that the neofascist party operated as a criminal organization.
Nikos Apostolou, who has been implicated in the operation of protection rackets and in assaults on immigrants, has denied the charges and insists that he is not a member of Golden Dawn but only a supporter. But recorded telephone conversations between him and other suspects following the killing of 34-year-old rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a party supporter in Keratsini, near Piraeus, on September 18 are said to contain incriminating evidence. Also, protected witnesses have linked him to at least one violent attack on immigrants and to protection rackets in the broader Piraeus area.
According to sources, Apostolou played down references to protection rackets in the wiretapped telephone calls, claiming that he had mentioned them “to appear cool” to his friends.
Apostolou was taken to Domoko Prison in central Greece after his testimony on Friday.
In a related development, Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos has appealed for conditional release from Attica’s Korydallos high-security prison, where he has been since late September when he was remanded pending trial.