‘A message of democracy’ - Neo-Nazi’s immunity lifted by MEPs
By overwhelming majority, the European Parliament has today voted to waive the immunity of MEP Ioannis Lagos (658 votes in favor, 25 against, 10 abstentions).
Lagos was sentenced by a Greek court to 13 years and eight months in prison on October 7th, 2020 for his criminal activity, including murders and grievous bodily harm.
Today’s decision – a message of democracy throughout Europe and around the world – paves the way for Lagos’s sentencing, with the heaviest possible sentence imposed on the members of the Golden Dawn formation.
Reacting to the vote, Dimitris Papadimoulis commented: “Finally! A long time ago, Lagos was arrested by Interpol in Brussels” and called on the Greek authorities to take swift action to deliver justice.
Pressure is now on the Greek Ministry of Citizen Protection and for the Greek government to speed up its investigations to locate the other Golden Dawn fugitive member, Christos Pappas, whose went missing shortly before the decision was made – with the responsibility lying with the Greek public authorities.
First elected as a “political party”, Golden Dawn is now officially characterised as a criminal organisation. This marks the end of a dark moment in the political history of Greece for an organisation that became the third political force in the Greek Parliament during the era of hard austerity and memoranda.
Following today’s vote, the Greek government, and in particular the competent authorities, must ensure that a European Arrest Warrant is issued in order for Lagos to be arrested and extradited to Greece to serve his sentence.
It is worth noting that in the official briefing of the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, to the Vice President of the European Parliament Dimitris Papadimoulis, the main reason for the delay was that the official request from the Greek government to Brussels was accompanied by a 2,000-page file – in Greek – which had to be translated by the services of the European Parliament.
MEPs Dimitris Papadimoulis, Kostas Arvanitis, Alexis Georgoulis, Petros Kokkalis, Stelios Kouloglou, Elena Kountoura on behalf of the Left in the European Parliament.