A former Golden Dawn member who has entered a witness protection programme has offered damning testimony about the far-right party’s modus operandi, including the operation of its gangs of storm troopers, in the ongoing Golden Dawn trial.
“Witness A”, who testified in police headquarters with a hookup to the courtroom, was a member of Golden Dawn between 2012 and the end of 2013.
He described the military structure and martial outlook of the party, with attacks against select targets, and asserted that party leader Nikos Michaloliakos was at the top of the pyramid and was fully aware of the violent activity of the squads.
He said that the attacks were often linked to financial motivations.
“In Golden Dawn they engaged in propaganda for patriotic reasons. We had the so called strolls, the targeted attacks, and military exercises to be ready for many things in the event we needed to attack someone or make a fuss,” the witness said.
He said he received his training in Malakasa, in East Attica, where the murderer of rapper Pavlos Fyssas, Yorgos Roupakias, was a trainer, and Golden Dawn MP Elias Kasidiaris offered martial arts training.
“I went to Malakasa three times. The training was tough, like commandos, with a lot of pain. We were about 30-35 trainees with a number of trainers, one of whom was a military man. Roupakias led one group,” he revealed.
The witness described certain attacks in detail. “In one a young Pakistani man was attacked badly. We went with 20 motorcycles. The attack lasted 20 minutes,’ he said.
In the Golden Dawn branches in Nikaia, Piraeus, and Perama, there were knives, poles, and guns strewn about.
“The storm squads were comprised of 20-30 members. They wore black pants and Golden Dawn shirts in Nikaia, fatigues and Golden Dawn shirts in Piraeus, and we carried long poles that were supposedly flagpoles. We used these gangs against foreigners and opponents of Golden Dawn.
“Witnesss A” said that many of the attacks were intended to terrorise foreigners, so they could extort money from them later. “They would scare the foreigners but also sell then cell phones, cigarettes and other things. But we Golden Dawn members were also paying – for flags, banners, and other such,” he testified.