Greece: Convicted former Golden Dawn lawmaker on the run
Greek authorities are searching for one of the leading members and former lawmakers of the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party after he refused to turn himself in following a court decision ordering his imprisonment.
Police were searching Friday for Christos Pappas, officially considered a fugitive after a Thursday court decision ordering a total of 39 people, including 13 former Golden Dawn lawmakers, to be imprisoned after they were convicted of running the party as a criminal organization.
All but two of the 39 were in custody by Thursday night, having turned themselves in. However, Pappas' lawyer Periklis Stavrianakis told Greek state broadcaster ERT that his client was not surrendering as he considered his conviction would be quashed on appeal, meaning he would have served a prison sentence that could be overturned. Appeals processes in the Greek court system can take several years.
The other former Golden Dawn lawmaker not yet in custody is Ioannis Lagos, currently a European parliament member who lives in Brussels and is protected by immunity. Lagos was the only one of the former lawmakers who did not appeal for a suspended sentence.