A man accused of attempted murder following an attack on an alternative hangout in Athens in June 2008 was a member of Golden Dawn’s central committee at the time of the incident, it has emerged.
Since the attack on the Antipnoia anarchist space in Kato Petralona, in which a Greek and a Spanish national were stabbed, the accused, Vasilis Siatounis and Athanasios Stratos, claimed they were not members of the party.
But according to a list of Golden Dawn central committee members from 2008 that was published in the Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, Siatounis was a member of the party’s highest council when the attack occurred.
He was also a candidate for the party in the 2010 Athens municipal elections and was subsequently appointed an advisor to Nikos Michaloliakos, Golden Dawn’s leader, who became a councillor in that election.
After many delays, the trial against Siatounis and Stratos will begin on September 19. Last March, the pair refused to appear in court fearing, it was claimed, the reaction of those who had gathered to follow the trial’s proceedings.
In May 2011, the men initially appeared before a Athens misdemeanour court, which referred the case to a higher court after it converted the initial charges of dangerous bodily harm, the illegal carrying and use of weapons into one of attempted murder.
The attack on Antipnoia occurred on 30 June 2008, while four people were inside attending a Spanish language course. Suddenly, a man wearing a helmet entered the room yelling “Greetings from Golden Dawn!” He was followed by a group of ten people holding knives, who wounded two people, one of them seriously.
Siatounis and Stratos were later arrested at a police checkpoint. Initially, they admitted they were part of the group that went to the centre but claimed they remained outside during the attack and played no role in the stabbing.
Two weeks after the attack, Golden Dawn’s newspaper denied the organisation had any role in the attack, despite the claims otherwise of those engaging in “anti-Golden Dawn, antinationalist hysteria”.