The Greek police arrested Jristos Pappás, the former deputy and member of the leadership of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party , the only one who had not yet entered prison after the leaders were sentenced to more than 13 years last October.
Although the prevailing theory was that he had managed to leave the country – the police issued a European arrest warrant and notified Europol – the anti-terrorist squad has arrested the former number two of Golden Dawn in an apartment in Zografu, a suburb in the east. from the Greek capital .
The police have reported that at the same time they arrested a 52-year-old woman of Ukrainian origin, who received Greek citizenship in 2015, for allegedly sheltering Pappás in his flight.
The last time the former deputy was seen in public was on October 1, when he fulfilled his obligation to report to the police station. According to local media, he would have been hiding in the apartment during these nine months .
Pappás, who announced through his lawyer that he did not intend to comply with the ruling, was one of the ideological leaders of Golden Dawn and comes from an extreme right-wing family. His father, a lieutenant general, took part in the 1967 coup that led to the dictatorship of the Colonels.
An investigation hampered by the pandemic
The police monitored up to 300 people related to Pappás during this period, but the immobility caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the consequent long confinement that was applied in Greece further complicated the investigation.
The Government spokeswoman, Aristotelía Peloni, welcomed the news and affirmed that with the arrest of Pappás the chapter of Greek history related to the neo-Nazi organization is completely closed .
Last April, the Belgian police arrested Yannis Lagós, the only other member of the leadership who, despite having been convicted, had not entered prison due to his status as MEP, which granted him immunity until the European Parliament voted to withdraw it. unanimously . Lagós was extradited in May to serve his sentence in a Greek prison.
The condemnation of the neo-Nazi party last fall was celebrated by thousands of people in the streets of Athens and was understood as a vindication of Greek democracy, as it was demonstrated that the attacks, intimidations and murders committed by members and supporters of Golden Dawn were not individual decisions, but the fulfillment of the orders given from a criminal structure .
Created in the early 1980s by the leader of the formation, Nikolaos Mijaloliakos, Golden Dawn was for some 30 years the most violent group of the extreme right Helena .