Ex-Golden Dawn member extradited to Greece to start jail term


FILE PHOTO: Greek Member of the European Parliament and a former member of Golden Dawn Ioannis Lagos attends the trial of leaders and members of the Golden Dawn?in a court in Athens, Greece, October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

ATHENS (Reuters) -A former member of Greece's extreme right Golden Dawn party, Ioannis Lagos, was extradited to Athens on Saturday from Brussels, where he was a member of the European parliament.

EU lawmakers stripped Lagos of his immunity last month, paving the way for his arrest and extradition to Greece where he is to serve a prison sentence alongside other party members.

"For Orthodoxy and Greece, every sacrifice is worth it," Lagos shouted at reporters as he was brought handcuffed before an Athens prosecutor.

The leaders of Golden Dawn, who were often seen giving Nazi-style salutes, were sentenced to prison in October by a Greek court for running a criminal gang linked to hate crimes during the country's economic crisis.

Government spokeswoman Arostotelia Peloni said Greece had "fought and eliminated the toxic poison of Golden Dawn. The rule of law stood firm against criminals".

Six former lawmakers, including Lagos and Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos, were given 13-year jail terms.

Lagos had escaped arrest in October by leaving for Brussels the day the verdict was announced.

(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris. Editing by Mark Potter)

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