After recognising the Golden Dawn as a criminal organisation, the Athens Criminal Court specified the sentences handed down to around fifty members of the Greek neo-Nazi party. Roupakias also received an additional 10 years in jail for belonging to a criminal group.
The authorities launched an inquiry into whether the party was a criminal organization in parallel with the criminal investigation into the rapper's murder and into violent attacks on immigrants and left-wing activists. Roupakias was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday. "Together we move forward with this chapter closed".
Eleven other former lawmakers received sentences of between five and seven years.
The former lawmakers were not in court when the sentences were read out. Hearings are expected to continue on Friday, and more arrests are expected after the court hears the final arguments for probation considerations.
The arrest and prosecution of Golden Dawn members from 2013 onwards marked a change in approach to the group, which for years had carried out attacks on migrants and leftist opponents with nearly total impunity. Four others were convicted of causing bodily harm in an attack on members of the Communist Party of Greece in 2013.
The court ruled that the party's leadership was not eligible for leniency.
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The party was represented in Greece's parliament between 2012 and 2019, having won the required number of votes in four separate general elections.
A total of 68 people had been on trial.
Information for this article was contributed by Fanis Karabatsakis of The Associated Press.
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"Golden Dawn's condemnation as criminal organisation is a huge victory for democracy", underlined the spokesperson for main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, Nassos Iliopoulos, speaking to MEGA TV on Wednesday.
"Everybody knew about Golden Dawn since the '80s, but there was no political response", he said, adding that the 2013 crackdown was a reaction to a public outcry over the death of Mr. Fyssas, the rapper.
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