Extremist Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) party's top leadership, including its founder and president, are apparently heading to prison to serve out jail time of up to 13 years, the maximum sentence handed down to Nikos Mihaloliakos, its leader.
A three-member court comprised of three appellate-level judges in Athens on Thursday confirmed the execution of the prison sentences, more-or-less ignoring a bench prosecutor's recommendation that all of the defendants receive suspended sentences, sans man convicted of first-degree homicide, Giorgos Roupakias.
Suspended sentences were only granted to 12 out of the 50 defendants in the explosive but also delay-fraught trial.
Excluding Roupakis, the defendants heading to prison on convictions of leading and belonging to a criminal organization are Mihaloliakos, along with former Parliament deputies Ilias Kasidiaris, Ilias Panagiotaros, Christos Pappas, Artemis Mattheopoulos and Giorgos Germenis. Another former deputy also given jail time without a suspended sentence is current MEP Yannis Lagos.
Five former MPs of the party, which analysts and critics charge is an unabashedly neo-Nazi formation, avoided prison time, including Mihaloliakos' spouse, Eleni Zaroulia.
Arrest warrants have already been issued, according to reports, while other reports point to at least four main defendants have already surrendered to police.