Greek neo-Nazis free

Katja Lihtenvalner
2 min readNov 13, 2021
Photo: Reuters

“Judges’ decision provocative and unacceptable”

Almost a year has passed since the five-member court in Athens, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn,
once a parliamentary party, has been declared a criminal organisation.

Almost 70 members in total,
supporters and MPs have been handed prison sentences of up to 13 years. A leader Nikos Michaloljakos was also jailed, dealing a fatal blow to Golden Dawn.
Or as it seemed at first. Since the beginning of this year, many events indicated that
the Court of Appeal in Athens, with the support of the prosecution behind the public’s back, is granting the Nazis’ appeal
for early release. This week, it surprised with a new decision: it granted freedom to a high high-profile member Yorgos Patelis.
“Mr Patelis is not suspected to run. I have the feeling that the act (the murder of Fissas) was committed out of specific reasons in specific circumstances. There is not much chance of recidivism of the crime,” the prosecution argued.

Yorgos Patelis. (Personal archive)

It should be recalled that the court, in a six-year high-profile trial, tried the neo-Nazis for organising and leading a criminal organisation, murder, arson, physical assault, possession of weapons
and drugs. The total sentences handed down were the lowest in the criminal justice system. At the same time, the testimonies from the prisons show that law enforcement authorities have in some cases acted illegally in order to
to facilitate the stay of neo-Nazis in prison.

Patelis - high in the neo-Nazi hierarchical structure

A scuffle ensued on social networks and among many political parties after this week, the Athens Court of Appeal’s decision to release Patelis from
“The decision to free Patelis is provocative and unacceptable. The judges did not even have to read the documentation from the main trial, as it is not ready yet,” Kostas Papadakis, the victims’ lawyer stated

More: Grški neonacisti obsojeni, a takoj zatem večinoma na prostosti (

Piece was originally published in Slovenian.



Katja Lihtenvalner

Journalist. Greece, Western Balkans #PoliticalExtremism #HateSpeech #FakeNews Head of Research at RusaalkaFilms Monitored #GDtrial I train #MuayThai