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Friday, 25 June 2021

European Parliament strips immunity of neo-Nazi Greek MEP

The vote was held following a request from the Greek authorities after Lagos was handed a 13-year jail term along with other leaders of the far-right Golden Dawn party in October

AFP , Tuesday 27 Apr 2021
EU Parliament
FILE PHOTO: A general view shows European Council President Charles Michel addressing an extraordinary plenary session of the EU Parliament following an EU leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 23, 2020. REUTERS
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EU lawmakers voted to lift the immunity of Greek MEP Ioannis Lagos, a former leader of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party sentenced to jail in his homeland, the European Parliament said Tuesday.

Legislators overwhelmingly approved the move, with 658 backing it and only 25 opposed in a secret ballot held on Monday.

The vote was held following a request from the Greek authorities after Lagos was handed a 13-year jail term along with other leaders of the far-right Golden Dawn party in October for charges including running a criminal organisation.

The ruling could not be enforced in the case of Lagos, 48, who had immunity because he was elected to the European parliament in 2019.

The marathon trial of the Golden Dawn chiefs, including founder Nikos Michaloliakos, was seen as one of the most important in Greece's modern political history.

The jail terms capped a stunning downfall for the leaders of a party which was the country's third most popular in 2015.

The crackdown was sparked by the late-night murder of a 34-year-old anti-fascist rapper, Pavlos Fyssas, stabbed to death in front of a cafe in the western Athens suburb of Keratsini in September 2013.

Michaloliakos, and the majority of those found guilty are already behind bars, but Golden Dawn number two Christos Pappas is currently on the run.

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