As prosecutors make the final preparations for a criminal trial against dozens of members of Golden Dawn, the Council of Appeals Court Judges on Tuesdsay ruled to extend by an additional six months the pretrial custody of Giorgos Roupakias, a self-professed member of the neofascist party who is charged with the murder of leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas.
The ruling came almost exactly a year after the 34-year-old rapper was stabbed to death in Keratsini, a suburb of Piraeus, and as hundreds gathered in central Athens for a rally in his memory. Roupakias had asked to be released from custody pending his trial, allegedly stating that he regrets his actions.
It was Fyssas’s killing that sparked an unprecedented police investigation that resulted in criminal charges being brought against all GD’s lawmakers and dozens of supporters and members. A total of 78 suspects – including 16 lawmakers and two former MPs – are to sit in the dock for the trial which is expected to start at the end of November. The likeliest venue for the trial is the magistrates court behind the Athens Appeals Court in Ambelokipi, sources indicated.
In a related development, the country’s highest administrative court is to consider an appeal by Golden Dawn against the suspension of the party’s state funding. The party appealed to the Council of State in February to protest Parliament’s decision to stop its funding, claiming that it was illegal and unconstitutional.