The sentences in the trial involving Greece's neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn will be announced next week, a court source said Friday after guilty verdicts were handed down to its top brass, AFP reported.
The sentences will be announced by Tuesday at the latest after the court examines any mitigating factors that could reduce prison terms, the source, who wished to remain anonymous, told the news agency.
On Wednesday, after over five years of hearings in what was seen as the most important political trial in decades, a panel of three judges unanimously labelled the paramilitary party a criminal organization.
A total of 65 people were convicted of crimes ranging from running a criminal organization, murder, assault to illegal weapons possession.
The top members of the party, including founder and leader Nikos Michaloliakos, could be jailed for up to 15 years.
On Thursday, the court adjourned the sentencing procedure for the 18 former lawmakers of the party and others convicted in the case.
Golden Dawn, founded as a neo-Nazi group in the 1980s, has become notorious for its blatant anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric, openly displaying copies of “Mein Kampf,” as well as other works on Greek racial superiority at party headquarters.
Michaloliakos has claimed that Nazi concentration camps did not use ovens and gas chambers to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.
In recent years, the party has been the subject of a crackdown by Greek authorities, with several of its leaders being arrested and tried.
Wednesday’s verdict was welcomed by the World Jewish Congress (WJC), which said, “Today’s decision sends a clear message that Greek society does not tolerate hate and division. We salute Greece’s past and current political leadership for taking the necessary measures to eradicate this abhorrent group’s platform for disseminating hate.”
“This decision is not only historic for Greece, but for all those who support democratic values. The World Jewish Congress hopes that legislation and policies that promote education, respect and tolerance will be implemented around the world, so movements like Golden Dawn will never find fertile ground to grow,” the WJC statement added.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Simchat Torah and Shmini Atzeret in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)