Day 197: every incident was carried out after an order from the higher echelons of Golden Dawn.

197th Hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, November 9th, 2017

I. Access to the Court

The courtroom remains open to the public upon presentation of a state ID card, which is retained by court authorities for the duration of the session. There were few spectators and members of the press in the courtroom today.

II. Presence and representation of the defendants

None of the defendants was present at the hearing.

ΙΙΙ. Proceedings

The hearing started with the conclusion of the examination of witness A by the defense counsels, and the start of the examination of the next protected witness, codenamed “B”. A. Kosma, the officer of the Athens state prosecutor’s office, and Xanth. Nounelli, the officer of the court, confirmed that the witness was present in the special examination room set aside for the protected witnesses, that there was no other person in the room with him, and that the witness had nothing on the desk in front of him, apart from a Bible.

ΙV. Testimony of witness A continues

The witness was next examined by defense counsel Michalolias Panagiotis. The witness stated that he joined the Piraeus chapter of Golden Dawn by signing a document. At this point the counsel produced a signed document with a date on it, and by comparing it to the witness’s testimony given to the Piraeus investigators, he asked for it to be brought to the attention of the state prosecutor and the witness to be prosecuted for perjury, since he has given two different dates, and according to the counsel this means that he is lying. The state prosecutor proposed to judge the matter after the trial has run its course, when the relative documents will be sent to the state prosecutor in charge of the documents, who shall give his opinion.

The civil action counsels for the Egyptian fishermen spoke through Kabagiannis and stated that this is a very important document for this trial, since it shows that Golden Dawn had a register of members which was never found in the defendants’ homes, and to which Michaloliakos has access. The counsel stated that this document places great pressure to the defense’s claims.

The members of the court reserved their judgment until the reading of the documents, when they will be apprised of the contents of the documents.

V. Testimony of protected witness codenamed “B”

A. Examination of the witness by the court

Responding to questions by the presiding judge, the witness stated that she went to the Nikaia chapter of Golden Dawn in the Spring of 2012, after a call she saw on facebook, which said that a rally by Pakistanis had been announced, and that they would pass by the Golden Dawn offices to smash it. 200-300 people gathered there but the Pakistanis’ rally never arrived. On that day the witness asked to be made a member of Golden Dawn, and Patelis signed her in next Sunday, after she showed a Greek state ID card and paid €20 for obtaining the Nikaia chapter membership card, which had a number instead of her name.

The gatherings were every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, and about 50-100 people would show up, depending on the day. Patelis would first analyze the ideology of Golden Dawn, talking about the Pakistanis that had to leave the country and that the goal of Golden Dawn was to expel all immigrants from Greece. In another speech Lagos told them that the holocaust never happened and that Golden Dawn is a Nazi organization.

The witness stayed in Golden Dawn for a year and was a member of the open cells, which numbered 30-40 people, while there was also the closed cell. They gave them an activity booklet, which noted their progress in the various Golden Dawn activities, and this is what qualified you for the closed cells.

There was a five-member council in Nikaia: Patelis, his wife Nitsa, Roupakias, a man named Vasilis, Tsakanikas, and an Egyptian man who didn’t want to be known so his girlfriend was there in his place. The witness decided to leave the organization because she saw things that she didn’t like. Tsakanikas described the beating of a Pakistani man, whose head he was kicking “like at a penalty kick”, and he couldn’t say if he was alive when he left. Moreover, they could see in the stalls of Pakistanis in the street market the clothes they gathered for the families of Greeks.
When she left, she had a huge row with them and Patelis told her “You’ll get what’s yours, we’ll talk later”. At some point a Golden Dawn group on motorbikes passed by her house, but someone had notified her and she had people with her.

She had attended the rallies in Thermopylae, in Meligalas, she had gone to an event in an Athens hotel and to the inauguration of the Salamina chapter offices, where they had been threatened and Patelis was shouting “Protect the leader”. At the hotel event, Kasidiaris had congratulated the Nikaia chapter. The witness participated in food charities and rallies in Nikaia that aimed to intimidate the Pakistanis. The rallies were done either on foot or on motorbikes. The witness said that the rallies were always “protected” by the police. Patelis was on excellent terms with a police officer in the Nikaia precinct, who was a member of Golden Dawn, who gave him tips and helped him out of trouble, like when he had been accused of beating up a pregnant woman. The witness had participated in the beating of a Pakistani in the Nikaia street fruit market, which had not been ordered, but was personal, as she said.
The witness did not participate in the hard training, which the Nikaia chapter organized in Salamina, and featured switchblades and guns. She had also heard that similar boot camps had been organized in Malakasa, Evoia, and Parnitha.

She had a switchblade and whenever she went to the local chapter she also wore a bullet-proof vest, which she bought herself. She had also bought a small fire extinguisher, in the event of an attack with Molotov bombs, but Patelis had told them “you can use these as you see fit”.

She also referred to an incident when Patelis made her do push-ups and kicked her in the ribs because she spoke up to him when he made a comment about Greek Pontiots. However she didn’t leave the organization then, because, as she pointed out, “when you go to the Nikaia chapter you start out at zero”.

The witness spoke again about the training, which she had heard was given by retired army officers, and everyone said that they had rifles and 45 mm guns. When there was a raid, Patelis told them to “get the guns and sticks to the cars” and then moved them to his mother’s house. The witness had carried with her own hands 20-30 sticks during a raid. The sticks were used in rallies, and had the Greek flag pinned on them as an excuse.

She talked about the hierarchy and discipline within the organization, saying that Lagos and Patelis told her that Golden Dawn is an army. Lagos talked to them about discipline, that when they get an order they should do as they’re told. There was a strict hierarchy – if there was a problem they called the cell leader, he called Lagos, and Lagos called the leader. They told them that every incident was carried out after an order from the higher echelons of Golden Dawn.

She talked about a man that had left the party, whom Patelis arranged to be beaten up despite the fact that he had just had surgery and had brain cancer, and to another man who was beaten inside the local offices.

When something was to be done, they received a text message and when they got there Patelis gave them their assignment. These were prepaid text messages from a cell phone registered to the Nikaia chapter. The witness said that the message each time told them the clothes they were required to wear for that particular activity – “city clothes” or “black clothes”. When they wore black it was for a beating, and the “uniform” included camo pants and a black shirt. Everybody knew that when they were called at night it was for a beating or to write slogans, and Patelis had told them that if caught by the police they shouldn’t say that they were members of Golden Dawn.

The witness said that Lagos protected the Nikaia chapter, because it was the jewel in the Golden Dawn crown and was the first for dirty work, such as in Korinthos or in the incident against PAME. She said that Tasos was the leader of INNOVA and the Nikaia Centaurs. INNOVA was a motorbike group aiming to intimidate anyone who left the organization, like when they passed by the witness’s house. The Centaurs, on the other hand, were high school kids, who were indoctrinated by Tasos. Roupakias was first a member of the open cells and then got in the closed cells, while his wife ran the chapter canteen.

Responding to a question by the presiding judge, the witness said that Patelis and Lagos went to beat up the Albanians, so as to get protection money from specific establishments in Korydallos, and she also said that Patelis has spoken about it in the cells.

Responding to questions by the state prosecutor, the witness stated that the targets of Golden Dawn were black people and immigrants in general. The witness said that she definitely left Golden Dawn before the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, but after all these years she can’t remember exactly when. She said that the closed cells participated in the assault squads, they had all the strongmen who went in front, the open cells followed, and depending on the incident women could be included as well. When asked about the stance of the police, the witness stressed that there were police officers who notified Golden Dawn, and gave the name of Giovanidis, a police officer.

Finally, she maintained that the beatings were carried out by the closed cells, a group named “George’s Thugs”, and that they told them that “the leader gives the green light”.

B. Examination by the defense counsels

Witness B was examined in turn by defense counsels Kontovazenitis, Tsagas, Sveroni, Roubekas, and Velentza. She said that both Patelis and Lagos had told them that every “activity” had been first ordered by the higher echelons of Golden Dawn. She also said that in the local chapter they told them that women should stay at home. The witness also said that Roupakias was in the five-member council and that they had heard about the financial matter. Roupakias was also in charge of the first aid kit, but at the time that she left Golden Dawn there wasn’t yet an organized first aid team.

Concerning Fyssas, she said that she heard from former members that he was the target of retaliation because of the antifascist songs that he wrote, and there had been a fight between him and some Golden Dawners before he was murdered. She said that you don’t need an order from above to defend yourself, but 20-30 people won’t show up without an order, which was what happened in the case of Roupakias. The witness said that “I never thought that Golden Dawn would murder someone, much less a Greek”.

The presiding judge adjourned for November 10th, 2017, in the Women’s Wing of Korydallos Prison.Top of Form
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